Warrimoo native Sam Appleton is expected to lay down a challenge at the Ironman 70.3 Asia-Pacific Championship in Penrith on Saturday.
The 26-year-old professional triathlete who now spends much of his time in the United States, is in form after a string of Ironman wins and fourth at the 70.3 World Championships in Tennessee in September.
“I really wanted to get on the podium at this race, but I am in no way disappointed with fourth place. I gave it everything I had on the day, and played my cards as best as I could,” Appleton wrote on his website.
“As satisfied as I am with my result, it has also left me wanting a lot more, and I will use this hunger as fuel for the rest of the season and next year.”
A top field is expected to contest the Asia-Pacific championships, including two-time champion Tim Reed, who is based in Byron Bay and the US.
“My motivation to race as hard as I can will be at an all-time high after a little bad luck in my last two races this year. To defend the Asia Pac title for the third time would obviously feel phenomenal however I've learned not to focus too much on the outcome even in championship races. If I execute the best race I can on the day and it's not a win, I can still be satisfied,” 32-year-old Reed said.
He expected Sam Appleton, Dan Wilson and Aaron Royle to “push each other hard for the win”.