Coach Wayne Clifford sits down with triathletes Fin Turley and Ben Wriede as they prepare for today’s race in Canberra.
Coach Wayne Clifford sits down with triathletes Fin Turley and Ben Wriede as they prepare for today’s race in Canberra. ALLAN REINIKKA

Triathletes set for world champs

TRIATHLON: Fin Turley and Ben Wriede may be fiercest of competitors in the local Frenchville Frogs triathlons, but behind the scene the two have joined forces to target their ultimate goal.

The triathletes will compete in the Canberra Capital ITU Triathlon today, which acts as the first under-19s selection race for the World Champions and Youth Olympics teams that will compete internationally this year.

The two boys, who are racing with the Queensland squad, came under the wing of Coach Wayne Clifford in 2008 and have since then knuckled down to about 20 hours of training a week.

Clifford, who was also selected as the male coach of the Queensland squad of about 20 triathletes, said although there would be only six athletes selected Turley and Wriede had a good chance to make the cut.

“Both Ben and Fin have slipped under everyone’s guard. They competed last year and they got 13th and 15th out of 50 competitors, which surprised a lot of people,” Clifford said.

“It is not going to be easy for them though, because you have the best athletes all over Australia – but our boys will run free and do a solid finish and I think we are looking at two potential top 10 finishes.”

Wriede said he was feeling confident going into the race and hoped his strength in running and cycling will push him through.

“My strength is probably the run as I have come from running background, but then after that it would be the ride,” Wriede said.

“I feel pretty good about it. I think my swim is good enough to make the front and then I think it is anyone’s race.”

Wriede said he would like to progress in the same way as former Frenchville Frog thiathlete Brian McLeod, who was now competing as a semi-professional athlete.

“That is where I want to progress to within the next year, though I have to pick up my swim and then basically make sure my bike ride is stronger enough to hold me,” Wriede said.

The race will be battled out between about 50 triathletes in the typical swim (750m) bike (20km) run (5km) format.

“This race format will suit Ben very well because he works into his event and he gets stronger as the event goes,” he said.

“Fin is a strong swimmer and I would imagine he would get out of the water with them and work from there and he is quite a strong runner as well.”

Clifford said the high levels that McLeod had reached had inspired Wriede and Turley, who in return were inspiring the junior triathletes.

“Brian has done a good job because he had blazed a trail and opened a door for Wriede and Turley – it just shows that regional areas does have good athletes,” Clifford said.



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