The Australian Olympic Committee have made it official – Olympic rookie, Ashleigh Gentle, and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, Erin Densham, will be joining Emma Moffatt on the Australian team at the Rio Olympics in August this year.

 

As the highest ranked Australian in the World Triathlon Series, with two second places on the circuit this year, Ashleigh Gentle was the firm favourite for the team. Gentle’s most recent performance at the WTS Yokohama event not only proved once again to selectors that she deserved a spot on the team, but gave her the confidence boost she needed after she was disappointed with her race on the Gold Coast over a month ago. A change in mind set and race execution was a sure sign that Gentle is ready to play amongst the best athletes in the world on the Olympic stage in August.

Gentle_620 (c) Witsup copy

The third spot, however, had triathlon fanatics and no doubt selectors pulling their hair out about the final choice. As we wrote about in our Olympic Hopefuls piece, there were a couple of scenarios to consider. Finally, selectors opted for the experience of Erin Densham, and the steep improvement curve she was on from her hamstring niggle, as Australia’s best hope of coming home with a medal.

Densham_620 (c) Witsup copy

After digging herself a deep hole in her preparation to get to the 2012 Olympic Games – which scored her a bronze medal – Densham had to take a big step back from the sport in order to recover. Since then it has been a slow build back to the top of her game, but in the past couple of months, the build and the improvements have been impressive. With two and half months left until the Olympics, we expect the momentum of Densham’s performance improvement to continue to be strong.

 

Densham now joins 2008 Olympic bronze medalist, Emma Moffatt, as the only Australian triathletes to represent at three Olympics.

Moffatt_620 (c) Witsup copy

As with the Olympic selection highs, come the Olympic selection lows of missing out on a spot. While that is the nature of sport at the highest level, we feel for those who missed their chance to represent at Rio. But once the dust settles, they’ll refocus their goals and attentions, and will be back on the start line of many races this year. All of the Australian triathletes have access to a team of counselors and have their team of coaches, family and friends around them too. We wish all athletes the best of luck for the rest of this season.

 

The women’s race will take place Saturday 20 August at 11:00am / Saturday 20 August at midnight AEST.

More information about race times on the ITU website.

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Stef Hanson. Chief.

Chief and founder of WITSUP Serious about what I do, but don't take myself too seriously

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