Olympic medallist boosts hot tri field
NOOSA Triathlon organiser USM Events says the field for next month's race will the strongest in years, as the hunt for more big names reaches its most critical phase.
USM expects the quality of this year's field will be substantially lifted due to the anticipated flow-on effect from the ITU World Championship Series grand final that was staged in Auckland on the weekend.
The Noosa company had a senior employee in Auckland attempting to nail down some of the sport's leading lights.
It is expected that the full field for the November 4 race will be locked down by mid-week.
Australia's London Olympic bronze medallist Erin Densham and New Zealand's world No.3 Andrea Hewitt have already said they would be coming to Noosa, USM revealed yesterday, as has Kiwi world No.15 Kris Gemmell.
The organiser is "reasonably confident" Britain's world No.1 Jonny Brownlee, the London Olympic bronze medallist, will race in Noosa for the first time.
However, London Olympians Emma Moffat and Emma Jackson have ruled out competing this year.
USM founder Garth Prowd, who now serves as a consultant for the company, said a lot of athletes would wait to see how they pulled up after the Auckland event before making their decision on Noosa.
But with two weeks separating the two events, he believes they would have ample time to recover.
Prowd said: "It's a pretty tough race over there.
It's been really, really cold and it rained all day today (yesterday).
"So there's going to be a fair bit of damage done to a lot of them.
"Like I said, Lisa Pringle our media manager is over there, and she also handles most of the elite athlete negotiations.
"She's working for USM over there, but she's also working for ITU, doing some of their media. So she's pretty well-connected there."
Having Densham, pictured, in Noosa would be a major coup.
It has been years since the world No.5 competed in the event, but the no-name who last raced there has morphed.
At the start of the year the three Emmas - Moffat, Jackson and Snowsill - were favoured over Densham to land the three spots at London.
But the outsider would not be denied, and then she went agonisingly close to winning Olympic gold. Prowd said: "She's getting better and better. She's top five in the world at all three disciplines.
"A course like Noosa is ideally suited to her."