Gentle aiming for Noosa hat-trick
Photo Source: AAP
Ashleigh Gentle is aiming to put a disappointing Olympic debut behind her by equalling Emma Snowsill's record of three consecutive Noosa Triathlon titles.
Defending champion Gentle will headline the women's race on October 30 when she looks to bag her third straight Noosa triumph, and fourth overall, at the Olympic distance event.
Fellow Gold Coaster Snowsill claimed five titles in all as she dominated the race from 2003 to 2008, but Gentle, who won her first Noosa race in 2012, can draw within one with another victory.
"Noosa has always been a special race for me and to come away with a fourth win and third consecutive title would be something I can be proud of," she said.
"Anything can happen on race day, but I am excited to be heading back to Noosa for the challenge."
Gentle is also hoping to atone for an underwhelming Olympic debut in Rio where she finished 26th.
"Unfortunately I didn't race to my potential, and it was extremely disappointing, although I learnt more from the experience than I ever could have imagined," she said.
"I will use those things to make me a better athlete in the future."
Gentle must overcome tough opposition with last year's runner-up, Charlotte McShane, and fellow Olympian Emma Jackson, the 2009 Noosa champion, both in the field.
In the men's race, Olympic teammates Ryan Bailie and Ryan Fisher will be the leading contenders with Wollongong-based Bailie looking to follow up from his top-10 finish in Rio.
Last year's third place finisher Jacob Birtwhistle and two-time runner-up Dan Wilson will be among the challengers.