Australian Ashleigh Gentle wins 7th Noosa Triathlon
NOOSA, Australia (AP) — Rio Olympian Ashleigh Gentle won her seventh Noosa Triathlon — and sixth in a row — while Jake Birtwhistle improved his chances of making the Australian men’s team for next year’s Tokyo Games.
Gentle battled through a shortened ocean swim leg due to a dangerous rip and big swell, emerging sixth and working her way towards the front on a quick cycle leg. She then cruised past fellow Tokyo Olympic hopeful Natalie Van Coevorden to win by nearly a minute in 1 hour, 57 minutes, 53 seconds.
Australian Sarah Crowley was third in 1:59.00.
Birtwhistle (1:43.39) won in 2017 but failed to finish last year. The Tasmanian athlete shrugged off a challenge from South African Henri Schoeman in the final 500 meters to win by 22 seconds. It reversed the result of last year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, while Schoeman won bronze at the 2016 Rio Games.
Defending champion Aaron Royle of Australia was third, hampered on the run when he stumbled after clipping a motorbike carrying a cameraman on the course.