Third time lucky for Gong Wizard Royle

TRIATHLON

Wollongong-based triathlete Aaron Royle has put his best foot forward in preparation for the Commonwealth Games by claiming the Australian and Oceania Olympic distance championship in Devonport.

Royle outsprinted Australian teammate Ryan Fisher in the closing stages of Saturday's race to take the title for the first time.

The Wollongong Wizards member was second in his two previous attempts at the event.

"I thought to myself 'I don't want to come to Devonport and finish second again'," Royle said.

"Third time lucky this time - I've got to win this one.

"It wasn't easy, coming down to that last 50 metres.

"There was a little bit of hustle and bustle, we both wanted that inside line but I just managed to hold him out.

"Once I came round that corner first ... that gave me the advantage to get to the line ahead of Ryan."

The win comes after Royle spent most of January out injured with a minor calf tear.

"I had no idea how I was going to go, I am actually quite pleased that I'm in decent form right now."

Now fully healed, he will get some much-needed racing in his legs before the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July.

"I wanted a hard race. When you come up against the Brownlee brothers [Alistair and Jonathan] and [Javier] Gomez and those kind of guys, they are not easy races. So you want to try and emulate these races as much as possible.

"I decided with about two kilometres to go that I just didn't have the legs in me and I was going to save myself for a sprint finish.

"I decided just to keep that tempo going so Ryan still had to work to catch me but I backed it off a little bit, to save for that sprint finish."

Fellow Wollongong Wizards club member Jacob Birtwhistle finished seventh.

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