Royle stamp as Glasgow Games await

Wollongong triathlete Aaron Royle will be joined by training partner Ryan Bailie on a youthful men's triathlon team for this year's Commonwealth Games after the squad was officially unveiled on Thursday.

Aaron Royle.   Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Aaron Royle. Picture: CHRISTOPHER CHAN

Royle, 24, cemented his spot on the Australian team alongside women's veteran Emma Moffatt with a seventh place at last year's ITU world series grand final final in London. He will be joined in Glasgow by 23-year-old Bailie and 28-year-old Queenslander Dan Wilson.

"It feels a bit real now," Royle said.

"Obviously I was already on the team but to be actually announced alongside the other Australians ... it's sunk in a little bit more and feels pretty special."

Royle said his and Bailie's selection in the Australian team was a ringing endorsement for innovative coach Jamie Turner's Wollongong Wizards training stable based in the Illawarra, which promised to provide the perfect preparation in the lead-up to the Games.

"I think he [Bailie] definitely deserved his spot," Royle said. "It'll be good for both of us now, preparing for the same race.

"If Ryan wasn't on the team I would probably be preparing by myself, so obviously having us both there will make it easier for both of us.

"It's nice to see not just us getting recognition, but Jaimie getting some recognition as well."

Bailie and Wilson's selection followed impressive performances at the opening round of the ITU world series championships in Auckland earlier this month.

Royle earned his first WTS podium finish with Wilson and Bailie finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, in an encouraging performance just three months out from the Games.

"To get my first podium in the same place I got my first world title [under-23] was pretty nice," Royle said.

"It was an exciting race, especially to be with Dan and Ryan up the front who were fourth and fifth in that race. It's a good sign for the Australian men's team."

The trio will use three more ITU world series events as preparation in the lead-up to Glasgow.

"I've got one in Cape Town next week and another one in Yokohama two weeks later but the Commonwealth Games is still in the forefront of my mind," Royle said.

"I certainly think I'm a chance to medal, not only in the individual. I think we'll be very strong in the teams as well, which is something we're very excited for."

Veteran competitor Moffatt, 29, heads up the women's team at her first Commonwealth Games alongside fellow London Olympian Emma Jackson, 22, and 23-year-old Queenslander Ashleigh Gentle.


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