Future bright as triathletes eye 2020 gold

Australia's triathlon success at the Commonwealth Games spoke as much about the future as the nation's current standing in the sport.

Team relay gold, individual silver to Jake Birtwhistle and four minor medals in paratriathlon was beyond a pass mark for the young squad.

While disappointed to finish outside the medals in the women's race, Ashleigh Gentle was always going to struggle to get her hands on gold, given the presence of Flora Duffy - who put Bermuda on top of the medal tally for the first few hours of the Game.

But individual disappointment turned to team relay redemption with a crucial third leg giving Australia an unassailable lead.

While Gentle is a world No.3, it's the men who really stamped themselves as an emerging force in world triathlon.

Tasmanian Birtwhistle only recently turned 23, and at No.15 in the world, only one other man higher in the rankings is younger.

In fact, he and Frenchman Rafael Montoya are the only athletes in the world top 20 that are under 24.

With fellow squad members Matt Hauser (20) and Luke Willian (21) both in the infancy of their careers, the future - in particular the Tokyo 2020 Olympics - is bright.

"We're here and we mean business, we're coming into our peaks, it's all up from here," Birtwhistle said.

"We won the (mixed relay) world champs last year, we've shown once again that we are the best mixed relay team in the world.

"We're in a great position, there's plenty of athletes that could take us to victory again in 2020."

As for the Commonwealth Games in 2022, triathlon is not one of the ten core sports and is no guarantee of being on the program.

It will come down to the discretion of Birmingham 2022 organisers, with finding a suitable venue perhaps the biggest obstacle to overcome.

It would be a shame if it was overlooked, given it was one of few sports able to provide world class fields, given commonwealth athletes invariably dominate the sport.

Also with the Commonwealth Games Federation preaching inclusivity, triathlon - which has featured at every Games bar 2010 in Delhi since being introduced in 2002 - could have an advantage over other sports.

Paratriathlon made its debut at the Gold Coast Games, with England winning both men's and women's events, Australia taking the remaining podium positions.

The CGF will however be keen to see more nations take part in the event, with 10 of the 12 paratriathletes either Australian or English.

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