Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

TRIATHLON: Two reign­ing Olympic cham­pi­ons will go head to head at the White­haven Beach Ocean Swim on Sun­day.

Aus­tralia’s Mack Hor­ton, who won gold in the 400m freestyle at Rio, and who is the de­fend­ing Hamil­ton Is­land En­durance Se­ries Ocean Swim cham­pion, will take on his train­ing part­ner, Italy’s Gre­go­rio Pal­trineri, the Rio Olympics 1500m freestyle winner.

Hor­ton en­joyed suc­cess with his first foray to the Whit­sun­days last year when he con­quered all com­ers over the al­ter­nate event course at Cat­s­eye Beach on Hamil­ton Is­land.

He was keen to re­turn and de­fend his cov­eted ti­tle, hope­ful that con­di­tions would al­low a visit to the course proper on White­haven Beach.

The ex­pected souther­lies should en­sure the swim will go ahead as planned at White­haven, where the rest of the field will cre­ate enough chop to dis­rupt the pool swim­mers’ rhythm.

Two queens of Aus­tralian sport, Sport Aus­tralia Hall of Fame mem­bers Susie O’Neill and Emma Car­ney, will be in at­ten­dance across the week­end.

While O’Neill has been a reg­u­lar at the event, Car­ney will at­tend the triathlon and swim event for the first time after over­see­ing a schol­ar­ship pre­sented by Hamil­ton Is­land to lo­cal ju­nior star Emma Ho­gan.

The schol­ar­ship pro­vided six months of coach­ing for Ho­gan un­der the watch­ful eye of Car­ney.

It paid off as Ho­gan won the Air­lie Beach Triathlon ear­lier in the year.

Ho­gan is com­plet­ing her Year 12 stud­ies and her rac­ing has been limited but Car­ney hopes to con­tinue work­ing with her be­yond the race.

The triathlon, to be held on Satur­day morn­ing, also boasts a stacked field with Gold Coast Com­mon­wealth Games ath­letes Jake Birtwhis­tle and Char­lotte McShane head­lin­ing the field.

Birtwhis­tle, the winner of the Noosa Tri just last week­end, will be look­ing to make it three on the trot while McShane will have to over­turn last year’s re­sult and de­feat reign­ing Tri and Ocean Swim cham­pion Natalie van Co­evor­den.

En­tries will re­main open for both events and with trans­fers from Port of Air­lie in­cluded in the White­haven Beach Ocean Swim en­try, many Whit­sun­day lo­cals are ex­pected to com­pete across the var­i­ous dis­tances in the swim­ming event.

Visit Hamil­ton Is­land’s web­site for more de­tails.


DE­FEND­ING CHAMP: Olympian Mack Hor­ton at Hamil­ton Is­land last year.

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