Navy duo selected for Triathlon World Champs

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Todd Fitzgerald (author), LSIS Sarah Williams (photographer)

Location(s): Cozumel, Mexico

Topic(s): Triathlon

Petty Officer Aviation Technician Aircraft Aaron Hannam completes the swim leg at the recent Ironman Cairns  (photo: Unknown)
Petty Officer Aviation Technician Aircraft Aaron Hannam completes the swim leg at the recent Ironman Cairns

Two members of the Royal Australian Navy have been selected to represent Australia at the ITU Triathlon World Championships in Cozumel, Mexico, on 11-18 September.

Lieutenant Natalie Davies and Petty Officer Aviation Technician Aircraft Aaron Hannam will join 6500 triathletes contesting the Olympic distance event - a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run.

The selection continued an impressive run for 808 Squadron Pilot, Lieutenant Davies, who finished second in the 25-29 age group and fourth in the open section at this year's Australian Championships in Wollongong.

She finished behind Clare White in a repeat of last year’s world championship race in Chicago.

“It was nice to race against Clare again. I have had such an interrupted start to the season that to finish in the same position with her was a positive sign for my base level fitness,” said Lieutenant Davies.

“I’m honoured to be representing my country and the Navy again.”

Petty Officer Hannam has worked hard on his fitness this year but said it was still a shock when Triathlon Australia emailed him news of his selection.

“To be one of eight people representing Australia in my age group is incredible. I’m looking forward to wearing the green and gold, representing my family, Navy and Australia,” he said.

Petty Officer Hannam will race in the 35-39 age group.

The 36-year-old recently completed in the Ironman Cairns, a long distance triathlon that includes a 3.8km swim, 180km ride and 42.2km run.

He said he must now train for the shorter Olympic distance race.

“It will be a huge change to my training, concentrating now on speed work after doing so much long distance work,” Petty Officer Hannam said.

Lieutenant Davies and Petty Officer Hannam are based at HMAS Albatross, Nowra - home of the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm.

The International Triathlon Union World Triathlon Series is the ITU’s annual series of triathlon events used to crown an annual world champion.

There are eight events culminating in the grand final race, held at Cozumel this year.