With the first third of the international triathlon season wrapped and Olympic selection for Rio 2016 nearing closer, two-time Olympic triathlete Courtney Atkinson is staring down the path of a busy five months ahead.
Fresh from another ITU triathlon contest in Yokohama where he fine-tuned his swim leg, Courtney has made a sensational return to form after a two-year sabbatical from the Olympic distance - even by his own standards.
He’s bulked up – as far as triathletes can – to restore the power game he lost while training for long distance ironman. And with a handful of solid results and a top 10 from the Gold Coast in his return event, Courtney has put himself squarely in the position for selection in the Australian team for the Olympic trial race in Rio come August.
“The first block of racing for my Olympic return is complete and to be honest, I was happily surprised with the form I was able to reach so early in return,” Courtney says.“Especially after such a short turnaround from the announcement to racing at the top world class level again.
“The plan now is to get another block of preparation under my belt in the coming months to prepare for the next races which possibly include a test race on the Rio Olympic course and of course, the World Championships grand final in Chicago.”
Which means there’s no rest for the wickedly fit. Courtney has the most intense four months of preparation ahead of him since the 2012 London Olympics.
“And I can’t wait,” he says, refusing to speculate on his possible selection in Australia’s trial team next week.“For the next few months I will be tucked away either in the forest, on the mountain roads or in the pool doing hard yards.“And in the meantime, I will be racing at the RRR mountain bike race in a few weeks as part of the Ironman Cairns Festival.”
Australia announces its team for the Rio trial next week.