Hot field attracted to bcu Coffs Tri
TRIATHLETES from all over the country are set to descend on Coffs Harbour on the weekend of March 4 and 5 for the bcu Coffs Tri.
And what triathletes they are.
While organisers of the bcu Coffs Tri pride themselves on creating an event for all levels, even before the cut-off for entries this Sunday, there's already a number of eye-catching names on the list.
With the event being named as an age group ITU World Championship qualifying race as well as doubling as the NSW state championship event, last year's winner Yamba's Lindsey Wall is returning to Coffs with the aim of defending his 2016 title but he'll have some tough competition from other professional triathletes.
One name we will all be watching is Ryan Fisher, the 2016 Olympic Games triathlete who finished 24th in Rio.
The 25-year-old from Brisbane has a very strong bike-run combination and has performed well since Rio, recently finishing third in the Noosa triathlon over the same distance.
Last year's runner-up and third placegetter, Dan Stein and Ryan Constance have put up their hand to try and get ahead of Wall this time while the Gold Coast's Adam Gordon is another athlete capable of crossing the line first in the headline standard-distance (1.5km swim, 40km cycle, 10km run) race.
Stein recently finished second at the Hell of the West Triathlon in Goondiwindi and is in very good form.
Some of the visiting athletes will have to keep an eye out for the in-form locals including Isaiah Koopmans, Matt Greenway and Joe Kane, who have all been performing well in the local club races and are familiar with the course, giving them a slight home-town advantage.
The bcu Coffs Tri includes childrens' events on the Saturday for ages six to 14 while Sunday also has a shorter "enticer" triathlon (375m swim, 10km cycle, 2.5km run).
The female field will also be hotly contested with the fastest female in 2016, Holly Khan, aiming for back-to-back titles.
She will be pushed all the way by youngster Madi Roberts who finished second last year. Others to watch out for are Wauchope's Laura Cook and Port Macquarie's Belinda Johnson.
Local females Melanie Sylvester and Jan Rooney have delivered great results this season and will keep the visitors on their toes.
More than 750 competitors took part in the 2016 event and organisers are expecting to eclipse that with numbers well ahead of the same time last year.
Organisers remind those planning on taking part not to delay their entries, which close at 5pm this Sunday at villagesports.com.au.