Maitland triathlon Brendan Sexton gets Olympic berth

MAITLAND-raised triathlete Brendan Sexton will be the next name added to the Hunter’s growing list of representatives for the London Olympics.

Triathlon Australia has sent its nominated squad to the Australian Olympic Committee for approval but is not expected to formally confirm any selections until tomorrow.

Any suspense surrounding the identities of the male competitors, however, was dispelled at the weekend when veteran Chris McCormack aired his disappointment at being omitted.

With McCormack overlooked, Queenslander Courtney Atkinson and Sexton are considered certainties for the final two men’s spots behind Brad Kahlefeldt, who has already qualified.

Another Novocastrian, Aaron Royle, failed to make the cut.

Defending champion Emma Snowsill and Erin Densham will join former world champion Emma Moffett as Australia’s female competitors.

McCormack, the 38-year-old dual Hawaiian ironman champion, hit out at the discretionary selection policy, which he said had undermined the performance of all contenders.

‘‘Just announce the team. We’re going to have to deal with heartbreak,’’ McCormack said in an interview on Saturday.

‘‘Sport’s cruel. But the swimming process is simple. One race, you’re in. It gives every athlete the feeling they control their destiny.

‘‘With this process there’s people who feel they should have been on the team and have been wrongly omitted.’’

Triathlon Australia had intended to name its team after the International Triathlon Union World Series race in Sydney in April, but that was delayed after several hopefuls failed to shine.

The controversy culminated in the resignation of Triathlon Australia chairman of selectors Michelle Gallen.

Sexton, 26, is a former Maitland Grossmann High student and member of Maitland Triathlon Club but these days lives in Melbourne and Spain, depending on his competitive commitments.

London will be his first Olympics and he has had to overcome a horrific, career-threatening injury to qualify.

In 2009, he fell heavily while training in Canberra and needed extensive surgery to repair multiple fractures to the right side of his face.

Sexton will be joined in London by a handful of comrades from the Hunter Region.

Lake Macquarie sailor Nathan Outteridge, swimmers Thomas Fraser-Holmes and Angie Bainbridge and discus thrower Benn Harradine have already been selected.

Basketballer Suzy Batkovich, hockey player Simon Orchard and water polo forward Richie Campbell are considered certain selections.

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