The Bahrain Endurance 13 team will see action this week as Vicky Holland, Ashleigh Gentle, and Lauren Parker all make a bid for Olympic and Paralympic selection at the Tokyo test event.
Test events are held in the year preceding an Olympic year to allow the host country as well as the participating athletes to rehearse using the actual race course. National federations also may use results from the test event as part of their selection criteria.
As a previous Olympic bronze medalist, Vicky Holland has opportunity to gain outright selection for the British triathlon team should she finish within the top three. With her consistent results inside the Top 10 throughout the World Triathlon Series events and coming off a focused training camp at altitude in St. Moritz, she will be in great shape for Thursday’s race.
Ashleigh Gentle is campaigning for her second Olympic appearance for Australia. Her racing year has been on an uptick, with renewed vigor, motivation, and coaching behind her third place at WTS Edmonton three weeks ago.
Gentle says, “It feels quite surreal that I’m here in Tokyo already. It’s been a bit of a strange year for me with lots of changes, so I am coming into the test event feeling quite relaxed but ready to embrace the whole experience and fierce competition.
“Last year at the ITU Grand Final I proved to myself that I can perform when the pressure is on at a big one day event, and that’s given me even more motivation to make the 2020 Olympic team. Of course I really want to do well on Thursday at the test event, but no matter the result, it’s a great opportunity to experience the course and conditions that will be faced in 2020.”
Lauren Parker edges further forward in her grand plan to represent Australia at the 2020 Paralympics as she lines up at the paratriathlon test event on Saturday. She says, “It’s safe to say this next month will form the most important part of the 2019 season and I’m looking forward to it!
“If I had to choose I’m always a much bigger fan of racing in the heat than the cold, so hopefully the hotter temperatures will suit me. The competition in the Women’s PTWC category is super strong at the moment and I’m expecting it to be a tough battle once again.
“Of course the Test Event is also the next opportunity to add more points and strengthen my position on the Women’s PTWC Paralympic Qualification rankings table.”