The opening race at the Dextro Energy Triathlon this Sunday will not have Olympian Courtney Atkinson in the roster of the men’s team for Australia. He was forced to step down from the competition due to his slow recovery from a virus.
On his website, Atkinson wrote the reasons for his pull out. “My recovery from the Mooloolaba World Cup wasn’t as good as expected and I had some unexpected complications ongoing from the illness I was carrying. It is a long season with 10-15 races planned over the next 5 months so this is a small hickup in a big year. I am so close to being 100% that it is such a hard decision not to race our home World Championship Race, but I think it is the right decision considering my aim is to Win the World Championship and 90% of that racing will be in Europe in 2-4months time.”
Atkinson announced his decision soon after the news of Olympian Emma Snowsill’s withdrawal. Snowsill is still in recovery.
However, a silver lining appears in the person of world champion Emma Moffatt, who is fast making progress with her shoulder injury. Michael Flynn, Director of High Performance of Triathlon Australia commented over Moffatt’s status, “We’re yet to make a decision on Emma – that could take up to 48 hours – but at this stage she looks OK. The final decision rests with Emma and we’ll give her every possible chance.”
Atkinson’s fellow Olympian Brad Kahlefeldt now feels the pressure to win and lead the team after his victory in Mooloolaba.