Jake Birtwhistle has arrived in Noosa with a full tank determined to add a second crown on Sunday before attention turns to Tokyo.
Australia's highest-ranked World Triathlon Series male failed to finish in 2018, admitting he "couldn't quite handle it" as Aaron Royle made it a trio of titles.
That flop stung the 24-year-old, who is keen to show his class with a result that would also help him nail down selection for next year's Olympics.
"Last year here, I got to the race and was too fatigued and couldn't quite handle it," he told AAP.
"I've prepared a little differently, feeling better and it's the last of the year then I'll take time and take a break and start to build up towards Tokyo."
The strong runner admitted he had earmarked Tokyo's Games as a 15-year-old and, having raced the test event in Japan earlier this year, will enter with a degree of confidence.
"I remember I had a conversation with (former triathlete) Pete Robinson, I was 15 at the time and we said 2020 Tokyo is the year, it'll be prime time," he said.
"I'll be 25 next year at the Games ... so it's a long time coming and would've been nice to have ticked the criteria off already but I feel like I've done all I can (to earn discretionary selection)."
He'll have his work cut out in a strong field that includes a fit and firing Royle plus South Africa's Commonwealth Games champion and Rio bronze medallist Henri Schoeman.
Ashleigh Gentle can eclipse the "King of Noosa" Craig Walton, her former coach, with a seventh title in the women's event.
Natalie van Coevorden - like Gentle and Birtwhistle still vying for a spot on the Olympic team - and Radka Kahlefeldt will be among those looking to spoil Gentle's day.