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Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Hawley & Smith to Compete in Australia

Pristine waters, scenic coastal routes for cycling, and a challenging lighthouse course for running. The setup is ready in the beautiful coastal town of Wollongong, Australia, for its debut on the World Triathlon Cup circuit.

With a stellar line up filled with talent and Olympic dreams, which includes both Erica Hawley, and Tyler Smith.

The female field is ready to tackle a demanding course that will offer a 750m ocean swim with a beach start, followed by a demanding 20km hill climb on each of the five laps of the cycling course, culminating in a challenging 5km hilly run.

Wearing the one this Saturday will be Rachel Klamer. The experienced Dutch woman is looking to secure her ticket for Paris 2024, which will be her fourth Olympics, and her second place last season in Karlovy Vary World Cup proved that she is always one to be considered when it comes to hard courses like the one in Wollongong.

Ainsley Thorpe, also battling for a spot on the Olympic team for New Zealand, will be toeing the start line looking to grab some valuable points that will allow her to make the team for next summer. Some strong European athletes have made it all the way to Australia to kick off their season, including Ilaria Zane or Lisa Perterer. Both of them strong bikers and runners, they will likely try to keep the fast runners like Tilda Mansson or Maria Carolina Velazquez Soto behind them as soon as possible.

Hawley will also be starting in Wollongong as she hunts for the precious final points that could secure her qualification for Paris. A 12th place finish at the Napier World Cup at the start of the season aided Hawley’s cause and a similar finish would be a major boost for her campaign.

Wearing the golden number 1 in the Men’s Field will be home hero Matt Hauser. The Aussie has already set the tone for his Olympic year winning last week the Oceania Championships in Taupo, and is looking for back-to-back victories, this time on home soil. Hauser, who has already secured his spot at the Olympic Games in Paris next summer, will be leading a strong Australian squad that has quite a few athletes battling for the other spots on the Team, including Luke Willian, Brandon Copeland, Callum McClusky and Olympian Jacob Birtwhistle, who seems to be back in full form after his fourth place last weekend in Taupo, logging the fastest run of the day.

The Team World Triathlon - the sport’s global development squad for athletes with Olympic potential from smaller National Federations - will be well represented in Wollongong, as they continue to chase Paris 2024 qualification. Racing for Bermuda will be Smith as he seeks to advance his Olympic hopes on the Men’s side.
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