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Sexton continues good form
Roger Vaughan
16:00 AEST Sun Mar 6 2011
Australian triathlete Brendan Sexton.
Triathlete Brendan Sexton has continued his top form by winning race five of the Gatorade series.

Brendan Sexton aims to earn selection for London next year by upsetting the status quo in Australian Olympic-distance triathlon.

The 25-year-old continued his encouraging start to the year by winning race five of the Gatorade series on Sunday in the Melbourne suburb of Elwood.

It was his third win this summer in the series, but this is only a warm-up to much bigger goals over the next 18 months.

For now, Beijing Olympians Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson remain the favourites to again make the men's triathlon team for London, which is a maximum of three.

Sexton is in a group challenging for that third spot, with two-time Hawaiian Ironman champion Chris McCormack spicing up matters by announcing he also wants to earn selection for London.

Sexton does not just want to be the third team-mate - he plans to become a medal contender.

"There's definitely been a gap ... they've undisputably been the two best Australian athletes in the past four years," Sexton said of Kahlefeldt and Atkinson.

"My goal isn't to be the third athlete - to be considered for an Olympic spot, I've set my goals to be competitive with Courtney and Brad.

"We want three medal prospects and if I'm not up in their league then there's no point really taking a third person, just to fill the ride."

Sexton's main task this year will be to perform well in the seven-race world championship series, which starts next month in Sydney, and build up vital Olympic qualifying points.

He finished third last month behind Kahlefeldt at the national sprint-distance titles

Most importantly, for the first time in three years, he is injury free for the Australian season.

"It's definitely a good omen for me this year, just being able to get the start of the season up and running at the right time, it's looking good," Sexton said.

"I've had a run of bad luck, hopefully I've got it all out of the way now .

"I need to start racing well this year if I'm going to even consider going to London, so it's good timing."

Sexton broke away early in the run during Sunday's 500m swim, 20km swim and 5km race to win in 54 minutes.

He was seven seconds clear of Craig McKenzie, while former Hawthorn AFL footballer Tim Clarke was third in 54:36.

Melissa Vandewauter reeled in Elly Franks on the run to win in one hour three minutes and seven seconds.

Franks was 33 seconds off the pace and Kirsten Norden was third in 1:05.54.

The race attracted 2450 entrants and was held in perfect conditions.


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