Crowley keen to shine again in Cairns tri

After having to bypass last year's race, Australian triathlete Sarah Crowley wants to reclaim her title at the Cairns Ironman.


Free of the stress that bedevilled her a year ago, Australian triathlete Sarah Crowley is back in Cairns to reclaim the Ironman Asia-Pacific crown.

The 2017 champion is one of the favourites for Sunday's race.

After racing the Cairns Ironman or 70.3 event every year since 2012, Crowley had to skip last year after injuries ruined her build-up.

A stress fracture in her lower back was followed by rib cartilage damage.

She had the added worries of a home renovation and eventually, Crowley knew it was pointless to start Cairns.

"It was a pretty hard decision not to go up there for sure," Crowley said.

"It was really last minute not to do it and really upsetting.

"I am happy with where my training is now."

Crowley recovered from last year's setbacks to finish sixth in October at the Hawaiian Ironman world championships, backing up from her breakout third place the year before.

She has already qualified for Kona this year, meaning all the focus this Sunday is on victory.

"I am heading to Cairns because I want to win a regional title and because I love Cairns, not for any other reason," she said.

"Winning the Ironman South American Championship I got my Kona slot, I don't have that pressure.

"So, coming to Cairns is more like redemption, I am racing for more than just the race."

New Zealand's Teresa Adam will defend her title in Cairns and American Sarah True, fourth at Hawaii last year, is another favourite.

Australian Tim van Berkel, the 2016 Cairns champion, is the main local hope in the men's race.

He rates defending champion Braden Currie and fellow New Zealander Mike Phillips his main rivals in the 3.8km swim, 180km cycle and 42.2km run event.


AAP