Australian triathletes are gearing up for a massive weekend of domestic racing with five major Australian Championships on the line at the Devonport Triathlon this weekend.
Kicking off the start of the 2021 domestic racing season, the Devonport Triathlon will see athletes from across Australia gather for a number of high-profile National events, including the Australian Sprint, Paratriathlon, Junior and Mixed Relay Championships.
Tokyo hopeful Emma Jeffcoat said that she’s looking forward to having the opportunity to put the focus back on quality racing in Devonport this weekend.
“I’m just really excited to race, especially after such a turbulent year for everyone,” Jeffcoat said.
“It’s really nice to be back in a race week and get back out there and go after it. I’ve always loved racing down in Devonport. It’s a tough course and a true triathlon course so I’m looking forward to executing the swim, bike, run and hopefully having a good day.”
“It’s nice to be back out there and making the most of the domestic racing on offer. There’s some strong Aussie girls racing this weekend, so I’m looking forward to it and say bring it on.”
Jeffcoat will be joined by an array of exciting Australian prospects in the hunt for the Australian Sprint Championship title. 2018 Commonwealth Games representative Gillian Backhouse and rising star Jaz Hedgeland will both be making the trip down to Devonport after strong performances late in the 2020 domestic season. While the emerging U23 talents of Charlotte Derbyshire, Alexa Leary, Lauren Kerwick and Emma Hogan will no doubt give the field a run for their money come Saturday.
Commonwealth Games Mixed Relay Gold Medallist Matt Hauser will return to compete in Devonport for the Australian Elite Men’s Sprint Championship title for the first time in a number of years. After dominating Elite domestic racing late in 2020, Hauser looks likely to get his 2021 season underway in excellent form.
Joining him on the starting line will be Gold Coast Performance Centre squad mates Brandon Copeland and Matt Roberts, as well as the ACT’s Callum McClusky and U23 talents Jayden Schofield, Luke Schofield, Josh Ferris, and Jack Sosinski, among others.
Australia’s next generation of triathlon talent will also make the journey down to Devonport, with the Australian Junior Championships taking place on Saturday. Featuring the likes of Chloe Bateup (ACT), Briana Mow (QLD), Jonte Armistead (TAS) and Mitchell Westhuizen (NSW), the Championships will be the first time Junior athletes from across the country have been able to come together and race in 12 months.
Rounding out a packed day of racing on Saturday will be the Australian Paratriathlon Championships. Following on from last weekend’s Newcastle Paratriathlon, Devonport presents Australia's aspiring Paralympic triathletes with yet another opportunity to perfect their race day plans while competing for the Australian title.
Defending Australian Champion Lauren Parker said that she is excited by the opportunity to return to Devonport.
“I’m looking forward to Devonport, apart from the cold weather,” Parker said.
“I don’t do well in Tasmania with the cold weather but I’m looking to back up another win, and being back on that start line and seeing what I can do.”
Emily Tapp will provide some strong competition for Parker in the PTWC class, alongside Sara Tait. While Clint Pickin and Liam Twomey are set to go head-to-head for a second weekend in a row in the PTS4 class. Rio Paralympic Gold Medallist Katie Kelly will also head down to Devonport to contest the Australian title in the PTVI class.
In addition to the classified paratriathlon racing, Devonport will also feature a Triathlete With Disability (TWD) wave, providing further racing opportunities for triathletes with a disability.
The Devonport Triathlon is set to take place on February 27-28, 2021, with five major Australia Championships taking place across the weekend. To keep up to date with all the latest results across the two-day event, keep an eye on the Triathlon Australia social media channels and website.
Saturday February 27
Australian Junior Championships
Australian Elite & U23 Sprint Championships
Australian Paratriathlon Championships
Sunday February 28
Australian Mixed Relay Championships
Australian Junior Mixed Relay Championships
Photo Credit: Delly Carr