Veteran Australian triathlete Greg Bennett has had a request to be released from racing for Australia granted by the Triathlon Australia Board.
Bennett, 38, has held dual citizenship with Australia and the United States for a number of years. He has a long family history in the United States, married U.S. triathlete Laura Bennett (nee Reback) in 2004, and has spent the majority of the last decade training and racing in the United States.
The 38-year-old lodged the request primarily so that he could be a part of Laura’s 2012 Olympic campaign, and to finish his own career for his adopted country.
“Laura and I have built our careers together for the past 11 years, leaning on each other constantly for support in coaching and mentoring,” Bennett said. “I would like to be with her for her final Olympic journey and I cannot do this as well as I would like unless I can be fully part of her team.”
“In regard to my own career, the majority of my racing over the last several years has been in the United States, all my sponsorship deals are U.S.-based, and the medical team I rely on is based in Florida and Dallas.”
“I’d like to think I’ve given fair service to Australia over the past 17 years. At 38, I’m no spring chicken and I’d simply like to dedicate the final chapter of my career to my dual country. I’d like to thank the Triathlon Australia Board for agreeing to my request, believe the investment Australian sport made in me over the years was mutually beneficial, and that both parties should feel satisfied with this conclusion.”
Triathlon Australia President Peter Hedge said Bennett’s service and circumstances had deserved consideration.
“Obviously we do not take lightly the decision to release an elite athlete from racing for Australia,” he said. “However, given Greg’s prolonged service to the sport, his personal circumstances and the stage he is at in his career, the Board felt his request was reasonable. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Bennett has competed in more than 80 World Cup events, scoring 26 podium finishes and six wins. He finished fourth at the 2004 Athens Olympics.