World champion and local triathlete Emma Moffatt is hoping to launch her campaign for a place in the Australian Olympic squad with a strong performance at the ITU World Cup race in Mooloolaba this weekend.
World champion and local triathlete Emma Moffatt is hoping to launch her campaign for a place in the Australian Olympic squad with a strong performance at the ITU World Cup race in Mooloolaba this weekend. Delly Carr, Sportsshoot

Emma keen to get jump on rivals

LOCAL triathlon product Emma Moffatt already has her eyes set firmly on the London Olympics.

The former Woolgoolga girl claimed an Olympic bronze medal in Beijing in 2008 and even though the London games are still more than 16 months away, the reigning world champ admits that this weekend’s ITU World Cup event in Mooloolaba is the perfect time to start earning qualifying points towards gaining automatic entry into the Australian Olympic team.

With fellow teammate and Beijing gold medallist Emma Snowsill forced out of the season opener due to a niggling foot injury, Moffatt has the chance to get a jump on her rivals this weekend for a coveted position.

The 26-year-old has flourished these past two seasons, claiming back-to-back world titles and will be Snowsill’s main rival for that first Olympic spot on the Australian team. The fact that one of her main competitors is missing though doesn’t have the pocket rocket taking anything for granted in the lead-up to the event.

“It’s a great field and this early in the season it will be wide open for anyone to win,” Moffatt said.

“While I’ve had an uninterrupted training preparation this year and an earlier hit-out in Geelong than I normally would, it was good to test myself.

“Another month of solid training has rounded out a good preparation heading into Mooloolaba and Sydney. Now it’s just a matter of getting out there and seeing what I’ve got.

“Of course I’d like to claim automatic selection for London, and it’s a goal but there’s a lot of hard work that needs to be done over the next five months to achieve it.”

The 2011 ITU World Cup will see 140 elite athletes from around the globe descend on the Sunshine Coast and for many it officially signals the start of the international season.

The event also doubles as the Australian Olympic-distance championships and ITU Oceania Cup.



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