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The Close Race For Australia’s Women’s Olympic Spots

  • By Triathlete.com
  • Published Jan 20, 2016
  • Updated Jan 21, 2016 at 3:21 PM UTC
Charlotte McShane competes at the 2015 Grand Final in Chicago. Photo: Janos Schmidt/Triathlon.org

With six Australian women finishing in the top 32 of the 2015 Columbia Threadneedle ITU World Triathlon Series Rankings, it will be a tight race for the three Olympic spots available. One of those contenders, Charlotte McShane, talked to ABC in Australia about the road to Rio.

For Victorian triathlete Charlotte McShane, her Olympic dream could come down to a simple equation.

There are six strong female triathletes in Australia, but just three places available on the national women’s team for this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

McShane is competing against the likes of previous bronze medalists Erin Densham and Emma Moffatt for one of those three crucial places.

“I’ve still got to prove a lot, the other girls ahead of me have either won Olympic medals or World Series medals,” McShane said.

“I definitely feel like I still have to prove myself on the big stage, where it really counts, but I feel like I can do that.”

That self-belief is not something McShane has always had.

She originally followed her father, Frank, into triathlon as a young child in their native Scotland.

When she was 15 the family moved to Bairnsdale, in Gippsland.

McShane’s parents would drive her nearly 300 kilometers to Melbourne for competitions most weekends, but her early results were not spectacular.

“I just really wasn’t achieving what I wanted to. I was always quite disappointed, my swim was just letting me down,” she said.

McShane was often swimming alone in Bairnsdale without much coaching or guidance and did not think she had the talent to make it to the professional level.

“I could never swim fast enough to compete with the other girls and I just assumed that I’d never be able to.”

Things turned around for her when coach Jamie Turner invited her to train with his team in Wollongong, in southern New South Wales.

Read more: ABC.net.au

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