The Australian team won a gold medal in the new Olympic discipline.
The Australian team won a gold medal in the new Olympic discipline.

Team effort for triathlon win

AUSTRALIA has fought back from the disappointment of failing to defend their world triathlon relay crown with a sensational comeback victory in the last event of the year in Edmonton, Canada.

The Canadian gold followed on from Australia failing to defend their world crown in the event earlier this month, instead picking up a silver medal at the championships in Europe.

But in an encouraging sign ahead of the events Tokyo Olympic debut, Tasmanian triathlete Jake Birtwhistle saved the day in Canada as he overcame a 26-second deficit to the British team to lead teammates Ashleigh Gentle, Natalie Van Coevorden and Aaron Royle to victory at the world triathlon series event.

A day after Gentle claimed silver in the women's race and Birtwhistle a bronze in the men's race, the pair backed up with a gold medal winning performance in the teams relay where Australia beat home the US and New Zealand in the race.


"Full marks to these guys, they really set it up for me today," said Birtwhistle.

"We were in it right from the get go and we were racing for the win, it's a great feeling."

Gentle raced out of position, leading off the relay instead of racing the third leg as she traditionally does.

"I'm really impressed by the way we came together today," Gentle said. "It was great to experiment with that and we're really pleased."

The two women and two men in mixed relays contest a 300m swim, 6.6km bike and 1.6km run before passing off to the next teammate.