Top athletes talk to the press ahead of WTS Gold Coast

by Merryn Sherwood on 07 Apr, 2016 05:07 • Español
Top athletes talk to the press ahead of WTS Gold Coast

As the World Triathlon Series moves down under for its second stop in 2016, the sports top stars turned out for the press on the Gold Coast. Topics up for discussion included Olympic qualification, Olympic preparation, tackling the Gold Coast course, first races of the season, and the weather.

Mario Mola (ESP)
On his undefeated start to the 2016 season:
“It’s been a great start of the season, after a winter block of training you never quite know where you sit, so it’s always special to compete and see how things are going. I couldn’t ask for anything better, but I also know that not everyone is attacking the season in the same way because we have the Olympics in four and a half months… So I just have to keep working trying to do my best.”

On training in Queensland:
“It’s reat to be back here, I’ve been training here and in Noosa for the past four weeks. I like the hot conditions, it reminds me of Majorca which is where I’m from. It’s great to be back, as seven years ago we raced here in the world juniors. It’s great to be back, and we’ll see how things go on Saturday.”

Ashleigh Gentle (AUS)
On the fact that Saturday is an automatic Olympic selection race for the Ausrtralian Olympic team:
“I couldn’t have asked to a better start to the year, placing second in Abu Dhabi. I have to move forward from that. Saturday is a new day and a new race, it’s an extremely competitve field once again. I know what I have to do in terms of Olympic selection, but I’m trying to think of it as a usual WTS race, if I think about the other Aussies or what might happen, then I might slip outside the top 10 and Olympic selection might not come into it. It’s a great field to have in my hometown, and I’m focused on that. “

Jodie Stimpson (GBR)
On her status with Olympic qualification ahead of Gold Coast:
“There has been quite a lot in the media about this big battle between me & Helen, however the actual criteria not so much of a face off between me and Helen [Jenkins] moreso… We’ve got to show medal potential.  We’ve got to make sure we have the potential to medal in Rio. It’s not necessarily whoever wins out of me and Helen will be selected, obviously Helen is a competitor and I want to do well against her… But at the end of the day, it’s going into the weekend and trying to do things right myself. Yes it is a big race and yes it is a selection race, but you also have to go into it just thinking it is any other WTS race.”

Gwen Jorgensen (USA)
On returning to the Gold Coast:
“I’m excited to be here, I came here last year and it was a great race so I’m excited to be back here again and looking forward to Saturday.”

On Olympic qualification:
“I am really grateful that I am already qualified for the Rio Olympics and all the racing and training I do out to August 20 will hopefully prepare me for Rio. It’s not to say that I didn’t come here to try to do well.”

“I know that Ashleigh has Olympic qualifications on the line and I know that Jodie has Olympic qualifications on the line and I watched them race in Abu Dhabi and they both fought until the bitter end. Ashleigh came off the back and got back on and she really showed a lot of fight in there and come Saturday it’s going to be a really tough race and they’re going to be giving it their all and I will be too.”

On her form under Australian coach Jamie Turner:
“It’s been a huge factor. I train with the Wizards every single day, they push me to become a better athlete and Jamie, I believe is the best triathlon coach in the world that’s why I employed him back in late 2012 and he’s really help me grow as an athlete and really taught me a lot about performance.”

Richard Murray (RSA)
On returning to the Gold Coast:
“It’s wonderful to be back here in the Gold Coast, it was a great event last year and I enjoyed it thoroughly, so it’s great to be back…It was a bit of fun in Mooloolaba in managed to watch Mario destroy them which was fun, and I managed to do a bit of commentary which was fun. I’ve been based in Noosa, which I’ve always wanted to train there, so it’s been a very good lead in.”

Aaron Royle (AUS)
On his preparation given his pre-qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games:
“It’s been a different kind of start to the season, Gwen and myself have had a similar sort of training plan. It’s been interesting to see our training partners get ready for this race, whie Gwen and I will go off for four hours on the bike they will go and do more race specific stuff, they are going to do track sessions and we are doing more tempo kind of training, but that’s just the way it is. We’ve been able to qualify early and really just target that one day in August…It’s been ramped up since the start of the year, but I think through the whole year, for me particulary, it’s about building through the year. So that’s how we plan to do it this year, just getting better and better throughout the year and getting towards that one day in August.”

Courtney Atkinson (AUS)
On having a World Triathlon Series event in his backyard:
It’s exciting, it’s kind of surreal really, that we have such a big event and it’s my local training zone. This morning I had to look after my boy while my wife goes out shopping and it’s jst like normal. I like that, it’s really relaxing. To have the quality of field that we have here, it’s really quite surreal.”

“You are relaxed, you have this groundswell of support for the Gold Coast. Where I am at the moment, I’m not favourite for the Olympic Games, that was me a decade ago, but I feel like I’ve got more support than ever. That’s a nice feeling and I look forward to going out there and performing in front of this crowd.”

Jonathan Brownlee (GBR)
On how he has found training on the Gold Coast:
Really really hot. As you can tell I’m from Yorkshire, it’s not normal in Australia to have tan lines like this. The facilities on the Gold Coast are just great, I think there are more 50m pools here than there are in the whole of Yorkshire… I think we have trained well, we have come from a British winter which is quite cold and quite snowy, into 30 degrees. But its been good, we have put some hard track sessions in and we are both in pretty good shape.”

The women will get the 2016 Gold Coast ITU World Triathlon Series underway at 9:36am on Saturday April 9, while the men will follow at 12:36pm local time. Follow all of the action live at and on twitter @triathlonlive. Trifecta returns this year with new features. Create a new login and pick your favourites now at

Join the conversation with the hashtags #WTSGoldCoast and #CTrankings.

Photo credit: Eyes Wide Open Images.

Article gallery
Related Event: 2016 ITU World Triathlon Gold Coast
09 - 10 Apr, 2016 • event pageall results
Results: Elite Men
1. Mario Mola ESP 01:46:28
2. Fernando Alarza ESP 01:46:55
3. Jonathan Brownlee GBR 01:47:09
4. Ryan Bailie AUS 01:47:31
5. Ryan Fisher AUS 01:47:45
Results: Elite Women
1. Helen Jenkins GBR 01:56:03
2. Gwen Jorgensen USA 01:56:44
3. Andrea Hansen NZL 01:56:45
4. Flora Duffy BER 01:56:58
5. Rachel Klamer NED 01:58:06
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