Today’s announcement – made on the Broadwater Parklands in Southport where the triathlon competition will take place – heralds an exciting era for the sport that made its Games debut in Manchester in 2002.
Joining automatic nominations Jake Birtwhistle (Tasmania), Ashleigh Gentle (Queensland) and Charlotte McShane (NSW) in the six-strong team will be discretionary selections, Queensland trio Luke Willian, Matt Hauser and Gillian Backhouse.
Hauser, who won the ITU World Junior Championship in Rotterdam this year, is the youngest on the team at 19 while McShane – a former ITU World Under 23 world champion is the oldest at 27.
Gentle, 26, is the only athlete with Commonwealth Games experience having competed in Glasgow 2014.
The women and then the men will race for the first medals of the Games on April 5 before the Mixed Teams Relay and Paratriathlon on April 7.
The full paratriathlon team will be finalised in early 2018.
Gold Coast 2018 Australian Team Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti welcomed the announcement.
“It is incredibly exciting to have our first athletes confirmed as Australian Team members for Gold Coast 2018,” he said.
“And how fitting, that the first athletes announced in the team, are the ones with the opportunity to win Australia’s first medals of the Games on day one of competition.
“It is a huge honour to be named in an Australian Team for the Commonwealth Games and I congratulate each of the six triathletes on their achievement.
“It is particularly special to have five athletes set to compete in their first Commonwealth Games – and of course a great achievement by Ashleigh Gentle to make her second team.
“Over the next five months, more and more athletes will be confirmed on the Australian Team, leading us to a total of more than 470 athletes and the biggest Australian Commonwealth Games Team in history,” Moneghetti said.
Australia has won six medals contested over three Games in Manchester (2002), Melbourne (2006) and Glasgow (2014) – two of them gold to Emma Snowsill and Brad Kahlefeldt in 2006.
At just 21, Tasmanian Jake Birtwhistle has taken the triathlon world by storm with an outstanding season.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games will feature some of the best triathlon countries in the world – including England, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.
GOLD COAST 2018 AUSTRALIAN TRIATHLON TEAM (ABLE BODY)
Jake Birtwhistle (TAS)
Ashleigh Gentle (QLD)
Charlotte McShane (NSW)
Luke Willian (QLD)
Matt Hauser (QLD)