Strong team set for triathlon world championships with 21 Orange athletes

TOP TEAM: Tom Tudor, Jesse Dean, Tristan Harrison, Kate Thornton, Kim Dale, Stephanie Harrison, David Searle, Judith Tarleton, Danielle Syme, Phil Tudor, Katy Sutton and Rory Thornhill are among the Orange athletes going to the Gold Coast. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN 0902cftriathlon2
TOP TEAM: Tom Tudor, Jesse Dean, Tristan Harrison, Kate Thornton, Kim Dale, Stephanie Harrison, David Searle, Judith Tarleton, Danielle Syme, Phil Tudor, Katy Sutton and Rory Thornhill are among the Orange athletes going to the Gold Coast. Photo: CARLA FREEDMAN 0902cftriathlon2

Orange will have 21 athletes competing in this month’s ITU World Age Group Triathlon Championships on the Gold Coast – the most from any non-metropolitan club in Australia.

Orange Triathlon Club president Phil Tudor said they ranged from teenagers to people over 60.

“Our youngest Tom Tudor, Rory Thornhill and Jessie Dean are 16 years old competing in the under 19 age group and our oldest are Judy Tarleton and Sally Wallace in the 65-69 age group,” he said.

“Lauren Kerwick and Connor Whiteley are our elite juniors, with their best performance will [make] top 10 and could podium.”

Tudor said the Orange contingent was part of 550 athletes representing Australia in the sprint competition (750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike ride and five kilometre run) and 570 in the Standard Olympic competition which involves a 1.5 kilometre swim, 40 kilometres on the bike and a 10 kilometre run).

They will be competing against a total of 5000 athletes from around the world when the World Age Group titles and the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final for elite and professional athletes are held from September 13-16.

Tudor said the Orange athletes had qualified in the top 25 in their age group across a 10-race Australia-wide series.

The championships are held annually around the world.

“It’s been nine years since it’s been in Australia,” he said.

It's his sixth one and his first in Australia.

Phil Tudor, Orange Triathlon Club president

One Orange athlete Tristan Harrison has competed in several championships but this one will be special.

“It’s his sixth one, and this is his first in Australia,” Tudor said.

He said it had been a major achievement for so many Orange athletes to qualify.

“It’s a testament to a couple of things,” he said.

“Our facilities here, being able to swim in lakes.”

Other clubs have to use rivers and swimming pools for their swim legs.

“And we’re very lucky to have two fantastic coaching people [Dan Benton and Mel Ashton-Garard] who put a lot into coaching our athletes.”

One of the strongest age groups for Orange is the 16-19 years section.

“We will have six out of the 50 for Australia, it’s a fair old whack,” he said.

Tudor said they would be competing under the same conditions as the elite athletes.

“It is one of those rare sports where we do race on the same courses as the professionals,” he said.

The Orange athletes in the sprint competition on the Gold Coast are: Jessie Dean (16-19 years), Lauren Kerwick (16-19), Jack Bilton (16-19), Rory Thornhill (16-19), Connor Whiteley (16-19), Tom Tudor (16-19), Amanda Livingstone (25-29), Tristan Harrison (25-29), Kim Dale (40-44), Kate Thornton (45-49), David Hunter (45-49), Phil Tudor (50-54), Julie Middleton (55-59), Judy Tarleton (65-69) and Sally Wallace (65-69).

Our representatives in the Standard Olympic competition will be: Stephanie Harrison (20-24), Bridgette Evans (25-29), Katherine Sutton (30-34), David Searle (45-49), Danielle Syme (50-54), Cas Ingham (60-64) and Sally Wallace (65-69).

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