WORLD-CLASS: Emma Moffatt, of Lennox Head
WORLD-CLASS: Emma Moffatt, of Lennox Head

Moffatt up there with the world?s best triathletes

EMMA Moffatt, from Lennox Head, has recorded a prestigious third-place at the recent International Triathon Union (ITU) Under-23 Oceania Championships, held at Penrith.

The 20 year old, a part of the Under-23 NSW team, was beaten by no less than two world-class competitors ? Queenslanders Felicity Abrams and Nikki Egyed.

Abrams won the 2003 junior world championship, while Egyed won the 2003 Under-23 world championship.

A member of the Ballina RSL Club-sponsored North Coast Academy of Sport (NCAS) Triathlon Squad since 2001, Moffatt, who is completing a human movement degree at Southern Cross University, was overjoyed by the result.

"I included the Oceania Championship in my competition plan this summer, and even though I'm only 20 years of age and competing against some older and more experienced competitors, I felt that if my race went to plan I might finish in the top five," Moffatt said.

"Coming in third was just fantastic. I was very happy with my preparation and felt great for all of the race. It's great when everything comes together so well."

With the Oceania Championship sanctioned by the ITU, the race is used as a selection event for the national team to represent Australia at the Under-23 World Championships to be held in Japan in September.

With automatic selection going to the first two finishers, Moffatt just missed selection.

However, she still has two more opportunities ? at the remaining two selection races in Hobart (February 20) and Geelong (March 27).

Fellow NCAS triathlete, Dane Robinson, also competed at the event in the Under-23 men's division and recorded a 20th-place overall and sixth for NSW within another world-class field.

Robinson was at one point leading the race, but was seriously hampered by a stitch during the final run leg.

This weekend will see two more NCAS athletes ? Joseph Lampe (Lennox Head) and Josh McHugh (Alstonville) ? compete at Coffs Harbour as part of the National Triathlon Junior Sprint Series.

As well as triathlon, NCAS, which is supported by NSW Tourism, Sport and Recreation and Southern Cross University, also runs talent identification and development programs for talented junior North Coast athletes in canoe sprint, road cycling, hockey, lawn bowling, netball, rowing, rugby, sailing, soccer, softball, surf life saving and swimming.

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