Four girls from the same squad in Wollongong will form the nucleus of an exciting seven-strong Under-23 Australian team named by Triathlon Australia today for this year’s ITU World Championships in London.
The Championships for Elite, Under-23s, Juniors and Age Groupers will be conducted at the 2012 Olympic Triathlon venue in and around Hyde Park between September 11 and 15.
The NSW foursome, all coached by Jamie Turner in the Wollongong Wizards group who are now based in Vitoria-Gasteiz in Spain are Natalie Van Coevorden, Charlotte McShane, Tamsyn Moana-Veale and Grace Musgrove.
They will be joined by three boys Declan Wilson (ACT), Matt Brown (QLD) and Ryan Fisher (QLD).
Australia’s High Performance Director Bernard Savage is excited about a team he believes has enormous potential for London and the future.
On the girls, Savage says: “We believe we have a very strong team going into the U23 Worlds. Natalie, Tamsyn and Charlotte have been in great form both in World Cup and World Triathlon Series events.
“The selection of a fourth female in Grace Musgrove is a reflection of our depth in this area and also a credit to Grace.
“She has only been in the sport for a relatively short period and she continues to develop and progress under the tutelage of Jamie Turner.
“Triathlon Australia will request an additional spot for Grace once the original start list is complete and we are hopeful she will be given a start by the ITU.”
And the men, Savage says: “Canberra’s Declan Wilson has had a very good European season and has benefited significantly from French GP exposure and being in the environment with Darren Smith as his coach.
“We are excited by our men’s team and add in both Matt Brown and an inform Ryan Fisher who had a break through World Cup win this year in Ishigaki and we think we have selected three men that are all very competitive.
“Ishigaki was a good win for Ryan in pretty average conditions and we are expecting Ryan will looking for a breakthrough performance, aiming for a top three finish. Overall we will be aiming for some really good results and I believe with the ability to now focus their preparations on the World Championships we will see very positive things from the boys.”
Wilson will be making his Australian team debut at an ITU World Championship while Brown was a member of the Australian Junior Team in Beijing in 2011 and Fisher played a key role in Aaron Royle’s Under 23 World Championship triumph in Auckland last year before finishing a spirited fifth and he was sixth in the 2010 Junior Worlds in Budapest.
Meanwhile van Coevorden and McShane will be hoping the trip to London will be a case of third time lucky for them.
Van Coevorden admits being named on the Under 23 worlds team is always exciting and such a privilege.
“This is my third year now representing Australia, the third time I am going to happily put on the green and gold nail polish for race day,” said van Coevorden.
“My expectations for London will be no more than the demands and pressure I put on myself normally- to race the absolute best I can.
“Top five was such an achievement last year in Auckland and this year I want to go two better and get myself on the podium in London.
“The selection of the team early gives me optimal time to prepare not only physically but mentally for a fast and hard race on the Olympic course.”
McShane is determined to turn around her World Championships hoodoo.
“I raced in Budapest in 2010 and Auckland last year but I had disappointments in both races; in 2010 I crashed and ended up spending the night in hospital with broken ribs,” recalled McShane.
“In Auckland I was in close to the best form I’d ever been in and believed I was ready for a breakthrough performance.
“On the day I made a couple of mistakes at critical moments which greatly affected my end result but also provided me with an extremely useful experience as I target London.
“I am looking forward to another shot at a world title having developed and matured as an athlete throughout 2013.
“I am really excited about racing in London as it is such an iconic location and it is an honour racing where the Olympic triathlon was raced just over a year beforehand.
“I’ve got family travelling to London to watch the race making the experience even more special.”
Tamsyn Moana-Veale makes her first Under 23 team after being in the Junior Team for the past two years.
“It feels like I’m finally making some steps forward,” admitted Moana-Veale. “The last 12 months for me have been very up and down. I had a disastrous race in Auckland last year, so this year I’m very motivated to make up for that and learn from my mistakes in the lead up to the World Championship.
“I knew that London selection was on the line so I had to prove myself in every race I entered.
“And it’s been my best racing season yet! Three podiums from three ITU races, including my first Elite European Cup win and first World Cup podium in Palamos.
“After this I was still unsure as to whether I would be allowed to race London, but to be selected is a massive relief and an incredible motivator to keep moving forward.
Musgrove said she was very excited to be a part of the Australian Team for London.
“This time last year I was the only girl out of our squad not involved in preparing for the World Championships in Auckland which was difficult,” said Musgrove. “I knew I wasn’t ready and it gave me a lot more motivation to be included this year’s team.
“Since Auckland Worlds last year, I have changed a lot as a person and an athlete.
“After having some success in the domestic season, my confidence grew which plays a huge part in performing.
“I have been able to pick up some sponsorship which has helped a great deal as well as being a part of the successful Triathlon Australia National Talent Academy.
“Obviously my parent’s support has been great but I have to put a lot of it down to my coach Jamie Turner.
“He ensures expectations are high, sessions are tough and everything about our daily training environment is professional.”
Australian Under 23 Triathlon Team – 2013 ITU London World Triathlon Championships
Under 23 Women:
Natalie van Coevorden (NSW)
Charlotte McShane (NSW)
Tamsyn Moana-Veale (NSW)
Grace Musgrove (National Talent Academy, NSW)
Under 23 Men:
Declan Wilson (National Talent Academy, ACT)
Ryan Fisher (QAS, QLD)
Matt Brown (QAS, QLD)
The Under 23s will join the already selected Junior team to be led by 2013 Youth Olympic champions Jacob Birtwhistle and Jaz Hedgeland.
For Tasmanian Birtwhistle it will be his second Australian team in different sports after he represented Australia in the recent IAAF World Junior Cross Country Championships in Poland.
He will lead a men’s team that includes Luke Willian (Queensland) and Joel Tobin-White (Victoria) while Hedgeland fronts a women’s team that includes Queensland training partners Jodie Duff and Holly Grice.
Tobin-White is the only member of the team from last year’s World Championships in Auckland.
Australian Junior Triathlon Team – 2013 ITU London World Triathlon Championships
Jodie Duff (National Talent Academy, QLD)
Holly Grice (QLD)
Jaz Hedgeland (National Talent Academy, WA)
Reserve: Sophie Malowiecki (National Talent Academy QLD)
Jacob Birtwhistle (National Talent Academy, TAS)
Joel Tobin-White (VIS, VIC)
Luke Willian (QAS, QLD)
Reserve: Matt Baker (National Talent Academy, NSW)