Mooloolaba back on the elite agenda

Multisport Mecca - - News - Grant Ed­wards Grant.Ed­wards@news­re­gional­me­dia.com.au

SOME of the world’s best triath­letes are ex­pected to re­turn to Mooloolaba next March af­ter a change in for­mat.

This year’s event saw one of the weak­est elite fields since ITU races have been staged at Mooloolaba – at­trib­uted to a post-Olympics hang­over and the im­ped­ing launch of Su­per League.

Re­turn­ing to sprint dis­tance (750 swim/20km ride/5km run) from Olympic (1.5km/40km/10km) next year, along with the Com­mon­wealth Games be­ing staged less than a month later, Mooloolaba is poised to reap the re­wards.

“With the ITU Mooloolaba World Cup and the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games so close to­gether, the Sun­shine Coast will be the home base of many in­ter­na­tional and Com­mon­wealth ath­letes chas­ing their dreams,” Iron­man Ocea­nia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Dave Beeche said.

“The out­stand­ing lo­cal train­ing fa­cil­i­ties and the ITU Mooloolaba World Cup race will play an im­por­tant part of their fi­nal prepa­ra­tion. With the sport’s great­est names in town both the men’s and women’s field will be su­per strong and the shorter, quicker and more in­tense sprint for­mat will guar­an­tee lo­cal triathlon fans will be treated to some of the best rac­ing on the planet.”

Among those ex­pected to race will be Aus­tralian Com­mon­wealth Games gold medal hope­fuls Ash­leigh Gen­tle and Jake Birtwhis­tle.

The am­a­teur age group and open Olympic dis­tance events will be staged as nor­mal on the Sun­day, March 11.

PHOTO: BRETT WORTMAN

It’s hoped a change in for­mat and the tim­ing with the Com­mon­wealth Games will again lure big guns like Javier Gomez back to the Mooloolaba Triathlon ITU elite event.

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