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Greg Bennett depending on young guns for Beijing Olympic Spot

Here is a story from the AAP on some of the Australian Olympic intricacies in relation to Greg Bennett’s spot on the Olympics. I posted the official release a few days ago…

Tri: Bennett sweats on team ranking
2008-04-19 00:06 (New York)

By Roger Vaughan
MELBOURNE, April 19 AAP – Australian triathlete Greg Bennett
will watch the performances of a couple of compatriots over the
next few months almost as keenly as his own Olympic preparation.
Earlier this week, Bennett was named in his second-successive
team, joining Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson in a strong
lineup for Beijing.
But Bennett’s selection depends on Australia being ranked among
the top eight nations by the June deadline.
The Australian men are hovering dangerously around eighth and
ninth on the country rankings and if they are ninth on the
deadline, they only have two starters at the Games.
Kahlefeldt and Atkinson were named last October as early
nominations for the Olympics.
It would be a major embarrassment for Australia, a traditional
world triathlon power, if it only gained two starters and it is a
problem that has worried the national governing body for the last
The vagaries of the ranking system mean the performances of two
younger Australians, Matt Hopper and Brendan Sexton, in the coming
weeks will decide whether this country secures the third start.
The women are in a much stronger position on the country
rankings and will definitely have three berths at the Games.
“That’s up to a couple of our younger guys,” Bennett said of his
“Hopefully they feel passionate enough about making it happen as
well and I’ve been talking to TA – how can we encourage them a
little bit?
“I’m going to plan 100 per cent like I’m in the team and then if
suddenly Australia doesn’t finish in the top eight, well, I will
deal with it.”
The Australian Olympic triathlon team is meeting in Melbourne
this weekend to sort out medical testing, various logistics matters
and discuss racing schedules ahead of Beijing.
Emma Snowsill, Emma Moffatt and Erin Densham will form the
women’s team.
Bennett is the only member of the team with Olympic experience.
He beat three-time world champion and two-time Olympian Peter
Robertson for the third spot.
Bennett, who landed the biggest pay cheque in world triathlon
history last year when he swept a lucrative American series, said
there is no bad blood between them.
“We emailed each other after the selection and I have the
greatest respect for ‘Robbo’, a three-time world champion, and I
think he’s had the same sort of respect for me,” Bennett said.
“He was happy for me and I’ve got to make sure I perform at my
best so (in) his misfortune, he’s okay with mine.”
While there might be an appeal against the women’s team, this
selection process has been much smoother for Australian triathlon
than the lead-ups to Sydney and Athens.
Bennett is confident Australia can finally win a gold medal in
the sport.
“Four months to go, we’ve all got our plans and we’ll be ready,”
he said.
“It’s a confident team – I’m pretty confident this will be the
medal team, this time around.
“On paper, there are some athletes that may be even looked upon
as more (favoured) than the Australian team, which actually takes
the pressure off us this time around.
“This time around, it’s a happy team, we’re confident and we’ll
be ready to go.”
AAP rhv/gab
-0- Apr/19/2008 4:06 GMT

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April 21, 2008 at 9:17 pm
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