Four of Britain’s most promising junior triathletes are set to race for Team GB at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) in Sydney on Friday and Saturday (19 and 20 January). Featuring 17,000 athletes taking part in seventeen sports over five days, the AYOF helps develop Olympians of the future.
European Junior Triathlon Champion, Georgia Taylor-Brown, 18, will line up alongside seventeen-year-old Sophie Coldwell from Nottingham, a top fifteen finisher at the ITU Junior Triathlon World Championships in the junior event last October.
Gordon Benson, British Triathlon’s current male elite junior triathlete of the year, races alongside Stirling’s Marc Austin, 18. Benson finished fifth at the World Championships and is now studying nutrition at Leeds University.
All four British triathletes have their focus on performing well in front of a home crowd at the 2013 ITU Junior Triathlon World Championships taking place in London this September, and high-level international competition in Sydney this week can only help prepare them for the season ahead.
British Triathlon coach, Rick Velati, said: “This is a great learning opportunity for the athletes to experience world travel, heat, a long preparation camp, and experience of training and racing with athletes from other countries. It’s a unique opportunity for them to be part of Team GB and be part of the traditions and values of the Olympic movement.
“They will come up against very strong line-ups, and many of the athletes they have raced at the World Junior Championships in Auckland.
“As well as the individual events on Friday, we hope to continue the strong success GB is having in the relay formats when they race on Saturday.”
The triathlon events take place on Friday and Saturday. The individual event is contested over the sprint distance of 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.
The triathlon mixed relay will involve all four of Britain’s triathletes and takes place over a shortened format of 250m swim, 5km bike and 1.5km run. Each athlete completes the full mini triathlon before handing over to their teammate.