Clayton runs hot
By ADAM HICKS
ALSTONVILLE triathlete Clayton Fettell may come into Olympic consideration after winning the Australian Under-23 Triathlon Championships.
Competing in 37-degree heat in Perth on Sunday, Fettell established a lead during the 1.5km swim and went with a break away group on the 40km bike leg to put him among the first to start the 10km run.
Clayton was the first to finish in the Under-23 category and the fourth overall behind Courtney Atkinson, who has already been selected for Beijing, David Dellow and three-time world champion Peter Robinson in third.
NSW Institute of Sport Triathlon head coach Justin Drew said it was Fettell’s best career result. “It’s an outstanding achievement, definitely his best result to date to be the Australian champ,” Drew said.
“He’s very happy.
“It was obviously tough conditions to race in and he’s happy in his ability to hold things together and get the job done.”
The Australian championships were not an Olympic selection event, but Drew said Fettell could pressure the selectors if he was able to continue his form over the next few months.
“The Olympic selection process is still under way and won’t be known for two months. There are a number of races he would need to do well in to be considered: Mooloolaba World Cup, Wellington Oceanic Championships and Ishagaki World Cup.
“They are not selection events as such, but Olympic selection is based on discretion and overall performances at those races will obviously have an influence on who is selected.
“Clayton’s best chance of selection would be in a team role.”
It’s a role he played in the Continental Cup in Turkey last year, where he raced to set up a podium finish for a team mate.
“He is regarded as one of the best up-and-coming athletes in the country,” Drew said.
“With regards to Olympic selection, his chance would be based on swim and bike ability and his ability to work to look after a more experienced athlete to put Australia in a position to win gold.”
Fettell was due to return from Perth last night.