Triathlon Australia has named a group of 27 elite, under-23 and para-triathletes for the four-day championships, which will be held from 23-26. November.
Among the elite nine are four Olympians, with eight of the nine having represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games – six of them in Birmingham this year – at an average age of 24-and-a-half.
Charlotte McShane, 32 years old, is the oldest member of the elite team, finishing in 11th world championship, or eighth. He started at his first elite championship in 2014 after three years in the under-23s. he won the gold medal in 2013.
McShane will be joined by her lifelong friend Natalie Van Coevorden, who has been alongside Charlotte in eight of those teams in Auckland in 2012, Matt Hauser’s first elite team since under-23s and Jake Birtwhistle’s sixth elite team, leading the men’s team.
Van Coevorden, 29, also has a formidable record and is also 11th in her team – seventh among the elite and Australia’s highest-ranked woman.
With four Paralympians and three Commonwealth Games representatives in the Para squad – two-time world champion and defending champion, Paralympic silver and Ironman world champion Lauren Parker leads an exciting para-triathlon team.
Parker has climbed almost every mountain in his stellar career, and the triple world title awaits the 33-year-old from Newcastle, who will once again face US Paralympic champion Kendall Gretsch.
The Para team, which also includes 44-year-old WA native Sally Pilbeam – a two-time world champion in 2014 and 2015, returning from a two-year retirement – and the 38-year-old four-time WPS Para gold medallist. Justin Godfrey, his eyes on Paris.
“It’s definitely an honor to be selected for the World Cup team again, my 11th team, and it’s crazy to think that Natalie and I have been on this journey together for ten years (a third of my life!), McShane reflects. , relieved to return to competition after a long battle with injury.
“We’ve both been through a lot together and have shared special memories but also shared struggles, spending the first five years of our careers training together every day and while we’re now in different training environments (and usually on opposite sides of the world!) we happily hang out together at competitions. It’s always very comforting to have someone around with whom I have shared so many experiences – both good and bad!”
Van Coevorden also admitted that his and Charlotte’s test times had made them much more resilient.
“We are both fighters and we know that we still have a lot to do in our careers. I’ve known training with Charlotte for eight years, she loves the heat, so I know she’s well prepared for Abu Dhabi as well,” said Van Coevorden, who will play in the Super League final this weekend before the WTS round in Bermuda. Abu Dhabi.
“We are currently preparing in Portugal for Abu Dhabi, mixing the sauna heat preparation work.
“This time of year, it’s just important to stay healthy, stay injury-free and prepare for these final races of the season.”
McShane and Van Coevorden are joined by Olympians Emma Jackson (London 2012) and Jaz Hedgeland (Tokyo 2020) as well as World Cup rookie Sophie Linn, who made her debut at the Games at this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Jackson’s extraordinary career, which began in 2007 at his first World Youth Championship at the age of 16 – saw him win the Under-23 World Championship in 2010 before making his Olympic debut in London two years later.
Ironically, in a race won by Tokyo Olympic, World and Commonwealth champion Flora Duffy of Bermuda – who actually finished eighth to Emma Jackson in the under-23s in 2010.
“Flora is an athlete who proves that longevity is possible in sports. He rose through the junior ranks and is now a 30-year-old Olympic and world champion. It’s inspiring to see an athlete continue to perform and be at the top of their sport for so long,” said Jackson.
“For me, 2022 is a return to top-level racing and trying to get my training into performance.
“The last few years have been a bit of a struggle with a lot of injury setbacks and the races not going the way I wanted, so I want to use this year to get my faith back so I’m ready for 2023 and what may come next.
“I’m grateful for another chance to compete in the green and gold at the World Championships.”
The 31-year-old will be taking part in his 13th World Championships – his eighth in the elite – and a stark contrast to the Elite debut for Linn, who was named in his first elite squad after finishing ninth at under-23s on the Gold Coast in 2018.
Linn is emerging as a bright new star with a hard-fought fifth place at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games – the best by an Australian woman – who also won bronze in the Mixed Relay in Birmingham.
Also in the Elite ranks of the World Series final is for the first time Olympic and two-time Commonwealth Games representative and bronze medalist Matt Hauser, who is also in Superliga Neom.
The 24-year-old Hauser, Australia’s top elite in 2022 (currently ranked 10th in the standings), has appeared in five World Cup finals – three as a junior and two as an under-23 – winning the junior crown in 2022. 2017 and finishing third in the under-23 category last year in Edmonton.
Hauser will be joined in the men’s elite team by his 27-year-old Olympic and Commonwealth Games teammate Jake Birtwhistle and his 25-year-old 2018 Commonwealth Games teammate Luke Willian.
Birtwhistle, the 2015 under-23 world champion in Chicago, will represent Australia in his ninth team and sixth elite team, and he and Willian will also line up at the Noosa Triathlon on Sunday.
Birmingham debutant Brandon Copeland, 26, makes the men’s team in his second Elite World’s tournament after making his debut in Edmonton last year.
In the U23 team, NSW’s Matilda Offord will look to make an impact after her World Triathlon Series debut in Montreal, along with QLD teammates Ellie Hoitink and Oscar Dart, while Lorcan Redmond, who automatically made the team at Mooloolaba in March, will not line up in Abu Dhabi.
Australian team for the World Triathlon Series Final, Abu Dhabi, 23-27 November:
Elites Natalie Van Coevorden (NSW), Charlotte McShane (VIC), Jaz Hedgeland (WA), Sophie Linn (SA), Emma Box (née Jackson) (QLD), Matt Hauser (QLD), Brandon Copeland (NSW), Jake Birtwhistle (TAS), Luke Willian (QLD)
U23 Matilda Offord (NSW), Ellie Hoitink (QLD), Luke Bate (NSW), Oscar Dart (QLD)
Paratriathlon Lauren Parker (NSW, PTWC), Anu Francis (SA, PTS2), Sally Pilbeam (WA, PTS4), Nic Beveridge (QLD, PTWC), Glen Jarvis (PTS2), Justin Godfrey (VIC, PTS3), Liam Twomey (VIC ), PTS4), Jeremy Peacock (VIC, PTS4), David Bryant (WA, PTS5), Jonathan Goerlach (NSW, PTVI) & guide Harry Wiles, Jack Howell (VIC, PTS5), Sam Harding (ACT, PTVI) & guide Luke Harvey (QLD).
^The departures of Box, Birtwhistle, Howell and Harding await the final World Triathlon start lists ahead of the WTCS and World Championships in November.