NEWCASTLE’S Aaron Royle defied the pain barrier to continue his last-season resurgence with a win in the Noosa Triathlon on Sunday.
Royle’s victory, his third at Noosa, followed his record-equalling fifth triumph in the Nepean Triathlon the previous weekend.
The Rio 2016 Olympian Royle clocked one hour 48 minutes 51 seconds, collapsing at the finish line through sheer exhaustion.
Royle finished just three seconds ahead of Max Neumann (1:48:54), with Ryan Bailie (1:49:54) third.
World No.3 Jake Birtwhistle failed to finish.
"I don't think I've ever hurt as bad as I did in that last kilometre and a half," Royle said.
The 28-year-old remains focused on competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
"You doubt yourself sometimes, especially when you haven't had great years, so this is a nice confidence boost," he said.
Gold Coast star Ashleigh Gentle won the women’s race for a record sixth time, finishing 50 seconds ahead of Natalie Van Coevorden.