Mola eyeing third-straight world tri title

Murray Wenzel
Spanish triathlete Mario Mola eyes a third straight world series title on the Gold Coast

The lure of another triathlon world title is enough to ensure Spaniard Mario Mola's dreams of life as a track athlete remain only that.

Although the 28-year-old would love to test his pace against the world's best middle-distance runners, he is happy to focus on multi sport endurance as a third straight World Triathlon Series title beckons on the Gold Coast.

There are 1250 points on offer for the winner of the series final this weekend, and Mola already holds a comfortable 824-point lead over Tasmanian Jake Birtwhistle.

Ominously Mola has clocked sub-30 minute 10km road run legs this series, after biking 40km and swimming 1.5km.

His run time is within range of the world 10,000m track record, so it is no surprise the two-time Olympian has toyed with the idea of a switch.

"I love running and as a junior I grew up combining things like cross country as well," he said.

"It sometimes comes to my mind that I would like to try some races but the coach, people around say to focus on what you do well now.

"The opportunity I have to fight to become the best in a sport is something that I really need to enjoy and fight for now."

Mola's training partner Birtwhistle, 23, shapes as his biggest threat, though he expects they will have to work together early on.

"We want to be as close as possible to the front as soon as possible and need to make the race happen," Mola said.

"We need to be at one next to each other for the first part of the race."

Birtwhistle is no slouch either, having run down South African Richard Murray to finish third in Montreal last month.

It was the his third podium of the season and put him in the box seat to become the first Australian male to earn a place on the WTS podium since Brad Kahlefeldt finished third in 2010.

The men race on Sunday afternoon, while Gold Coast product Ashleigh Gentle will lead the local hopes in the women's elite race on Saturday.

MEN'S WTS RANKING

1. Mario Mola (ESP) - 4925 points

2. Jake Birtwhistle (AUS) - 4101

3. Vincent Luis (FRA) - 3810

4. Richard Murray (RSA) - 3722

5. Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) - 3021

(* 1st place 1250 points, 2nd place 1156 points, 3rd place 1068)