2018 Commonwealth Games Team: Ashleigh Gentle
History will be made in April when more than 6600 athletes and team officials from 70 Commonwealth nations and territories descend on the Gold Coast to compete in and celebrate sport during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018). Among the athletes competing, Australia has a strong triathlon contingency ready to mix it up with the very best. We take a closer look at the Aussie triathletes, who will proudly wear the green and gold, and stand on the start line of what is set to be a fast and furious event. Meet Ashleigh Gentle.
Date of birth: 25/02/1991
Born/Live: Born in Brisbane, Live and grew up on the Gold Coast
Best performances/career highlights: World Triathlon Series win in Montreal 2017, second overall in the World Triathlon Series 2017,
Nickname: Ash, Asha
Something we don’t know about you: I started off in team sports playing netball and representative touch football before I found triathlon
What did it mean for you to be selected for the Commonwealth
Games team? Where were you when you got the call? What was your reaction?
I actually didn’t get a call because thankfully, I had automatically qualified at the first selection event, at WTS Gold Coast and I knew my nomination was confirmed. Unfortunately, I missed the official announcement on the Gold Coast when the full team was announced as I was still overseas racing in November.
What are your expectations of the Commonwealth Games as an event?
I was in Glasgow, so I have Commonwealth Games experience, although I think the event being on the Gold Coast will take things to the next level. I grew up on the Gold Coast so it will be a very special moment for me and I have felt the buzz around the Games since it was first announced.
Tell me about the importance of racing in front of an Australian crowd?
I’m really looking forward to having the support of a hometown crowd and having my family and friends there, although I will make sure it’s not a distraction and stay focused before the race.
What are you expecting with the race over the Sprint format?
We have never seen a sprint distance race in a major Games, but they have been in the WTS for a number of years. It will be fast, and I will have to be ready to go full gas for an hour.
Does the course/format suit your strengths?
I think I have improved a lot over the sprint distance last year with more specific training, and I will be prepared if it’s hot and humid Queensland weather.
Given the smaller field and the absence of non-Commonwealth Games athletes, how do you see the race playing out differently to a normal WTS or ITU race?
The major country that will be missing is America, but all of the Commonwealth countries are dominant in triathlon today so it will be very competitive.
With the importance of peaking for “one day” in April, what is your preparation for this event?
Obviously, major Games events are a very big deal and we will have an adequate taper, but the preparation is not any different to any other WTS race I focus on.
How has it changed from your normal early season preparation?
What training have you been focusing on specifically?
I made sure I had a complete break at the end of 2017 and I built back up slowly into training. My main priority was starting 2018 healthy and ready to build strength and speed into April.
Are you looking forward to the Mixed Relay? What is special about
I don’t have a huge amount of Mixed Relay experience but I was lucky enough to be part of the World Championship team in Hamburg last year, so I’m certainly
looking forward to seeing it within the Commonwealth Games. It’s incredibly exciting and fast-paced racing, and I hope to be part of it.
If you missed our in-depth feature with Ash – check it out here
Text: SRR Media
Images: Korupt Vision