Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has today unveiled the region’s latest sporting franchise – the Gold Coast Tritons triathlon team.
The Tritons – made up of some of the biggest names in Triathlon Australia’s National squad – will compete in the expanding Major League Triathlon (MLT) in the USA.
Mayor Tate said the Major League Triathlon was another win for the Gold Coast following the City’s success staging of the recent Commonwealth Games - the largest sporting event in the Southern Hemisphere.
“The Gold Coast was on the world stage when we hosted the Commonwealth Games in April and we’re staying there with our own team in this Major League Triathlon series,” Mayor Tate said.
“This is a wonderful addition to our sporting franchise list and will no doubt enhance our team for the Tokyo Olympics.
“And any opportunity we have to showcase the Gold Coast into the USA sporting scene can only be a major win for us. I am sure the Tritons will do us proud.”
Appropriately launched today, July 4, “American Independence Day”, the Tritons are primed to kick-start their MLT campaign against six teams from the USA on July 21 – igniting a rivalry that will carry through to the World Championships and the Olympics.
The lone Australian team will compete against eight elite teams –with two other international teams from Canada and Mexico joining the six from throughout the USA – in the Mixed Relay format, which will make its debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Triathlon Australia has also received support from the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) through its Olympic Solidarity funding to assist in the program and prepare its Mixed Relay Team – the reigning World and Commonwealth champions.
In addition to the relay format, Major League Triathlon recently announced the inclusion of an individual Super Sprint Series at the Avon and Charlotte races. An invitational series that will include 30 elite athletes and USD10,000 per event that will ensure competitive racing.
Budding triathletes, Australian Youth Olympic representative and one of Australia’s emerging females in Jaz Hedgeland, and former Australian junior representative, Gold Coast local Dan Coleman were both on hand to launch the new Tritons team.
Hedgeland and Coleman are just back from the Dongdaihe ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup – where Hedgeland won the Elite women’s event and Coleman finished second in the Elite Men’s after finishing third in the previous Asian Cup a rewarding return to the podium for both athletes.
Hedgeland, 23, has been named alongside 2016 Rio Olympian Ryan Fisher (QLD) and rising stars Brandon Copeland (NSW) and Emma Jeffcoat (NSW) in an exciting Tritons team for the opening two rounds in Atlantic City, New Jersey on July 21 and Vail Valley, Avon, Colorado on August 4.
Jeffcoat has had a brilliant 2018 chalking up wins in Devonport, Mooloolaba and Chengdu while Kingscliff’s Copeland recently won the Taizhou ASTC Asian Cup after his ninth place finish in the ITU Chengdu World Cup.
Also in the Australian squad are Olympians Ryan Bailie (WA), Aaron Royle (NSW) and Emma Jackson (QLD) as well as 2018 Commonwealth Games representative Charlotte McShane (NSW) and Natalie Van Coevorden (NSW) and Callum McClusky (WA).
Triathlon Australia’s Performance Director Justin Drew is excited with the opportunity and to unveil the team and the logo.
“This is great for all concerned, for our sport, for our athletes to hone their Mixed Relay skills in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics; for the Gold Coast and for the future of a very exciting event,” said Drew.
“Thanks to the City of Gold Coast for getting behind the team and to the Australian Olympic Committee for its generous support in what will be a great way to prepare our athletes in another Mixed Team format.
“The Mixed Relay was one of the most exciting events at this year’s Commonwealth Games and I’m sure the public will continue to warm to it in the countdown to Tokyo.
“All of our athletes love the concept; they have put their hands up to be involved in the Mixed Relay program and that’s great for the sport. And by the time Tokyo comes around their skills will be all that much better and the racing and the tactics will also be top notch.”
“We are thrilled to welcome the Gold Coast Tritons team to Major League Triathlon.” said Daniel Cassidy, CEO of Major League Triathlon. “Triathlon Australia and their athletes have established themselves as one of the world’s top federations leading up to Tokyo 2020 and they are the reigning world and Commonwealth champions.
“We at Major League Triathlon are extremely excited to continue to increase the level of competition and give our athletes the opportunity to race Mixed Team Relay at the highest level possible.
“Major League Triathlon will host nine professional teams and will host many of the World’s best elite triathletes including international teams from Australia, Canada, and Mexico.
“MLT will host four events, making stops in: Atlantic City, Vail Valley, Tempe and Charlotte. “The third year league specialises in the Mixed Relay format of racing, which will make its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“At every event, each athlete will swim 300 metres, bike 6.5km and run 1.6km before tagging their next teammate. The first team to have all four athletes cross the finish line will win.”
The Triton a mythological Greek god, the messenger of the sea. Over time, Triton's class and image came to be associated with a class of mermaid-like creatures, the Tritons which could be male or female, and usually formed the escort of marine divinities. Tritons were a race of sea gods and goddesses born from Triton. Triton lived with his parents, Poseidon and Amphitrite, who was also known as Celaeno, in a golden palace on the bottom of the sea.
"The Tritons have the following appearance. On their heads they grow hair like that of marsh frogs not only in color, but also in the impossibility of separating one hair from another. The rest of their body is rough with fine scales just as is the shark. Under their ears they have gills and a man's nose; but the mouth is broader and the teeth are those of a beast. Their eyes seem to me blue, and they have hands, fingers, and nails like the shells of the murex. Under the breast and belly is a tail like a dolphin's instead of feet."
The Major League Triathlon rounds:
Round One: Atlantic City, New Jersey (July 21, 2018)
Round Two: Vail Valley, Avon, Colorado (August 4, 2018
Round Three: Tempe Beach Park, Tempe, Arizona (September 22, 2018)
Round Four: Charlotte, North Carolina (October 6, 2018)
Gold Coast Tritons (Australia)
Florida Sun (USA)
Arizona Kingsnakes (USA)
San Diego Stingrays (USA)
Atlantic City Waves (USA)
Toronto Freeze (Canada)
Carolina Gliders (USA)
Colorado Peaks (USA)
Guardianes de Guadalajara (Mexico)