(Image courtesy of 220 Triathlon Aus/NZ)
Australia’s Courtney Atkinson has confirmed he will race in Ironman Melbourne this spring, as he prepares to push for gold at the world champs in Kona later in the year.
With wins at last year’s Ironman 70.3 events in Cairns and the Philippines under his belt, he now looks set to challenge hard for a podium place in his first season of full Iron-distance (3.8km/180km/42km) racing.
Atkinson is quoted by Australian newspaper the Courier Mail as saying: “I’ve bitten the bullet. I’d love to be competitive at Kona, but first things first, I’ve got to see how I go in Melbourne.”
Atkinson also confirms on his Facebook page that he will be using Ironman 70.3 Geelong (taking place in the Australian state of Victoria on 9 February) as preparation for the full-distance Melbourne event on 23 March.
Last year’s Melbourne event was won by Spain’s Eneko Llanos, with Marino Vanhoenacker (BEL) coming second and Craig Alexander (AUS) third. 2013 Kona silver medallist Luke McKenzie is also expected to make an appearance.