Triathlete Dan Wilson has been rewarded for his persistence in the wake of serious injuries with a spot on the Australian team for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Wilson, Ryan Bailie, Emma Jackson and Ashleigh Gentle claimed the last four vacancies in the squad for the Games in July, when a mixed team relay will be added to the Commonwealth triathlon program for the first time.
Emma Moffatt and Aaron Royle were pre-selected on the back of strong showings at last September’s world championships grand final in London.
Wilson, 28, required knee surgery after falling off his bike in late 2010.
An attempt to rush his return in a bid to qualify for the London Olympics led to three stress fractures, putting his future in the sport in doubt.
But after altering his training program, Wilson has been injury-free for the last 12 months.
He and the South African-born Bailie finished fourth and fifth behind the third-placed Royle at the opening round of the world championships series in Auckland earlier this month – results that carried plenty of weight with the Triathlon Australia selectors.
“There was definitely a fair bit of doubt there for me at times in the last few years, not just whether I could compete at an Olympics or a Commonwealth Games but whether I could compete at all and whether my body would hold together,” Wilson told AAP on Thursday.
“But I changed the way I went about things, found new ways of producing performance and getting healthy.
“It just makes it all the more rewarding when you can get yourself on teams like this.”
England’s all-conquering Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonathan, will headline a strong men’s field in Glasgow, while the women’s event is also very strong at Commonwealth level.
Moffatt, a two-time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist, is the best credentialled member of the Australian squad.
Gentle overcame a nagging foot injury to book her spot on the team alongside Jackson, a former under-23 world champion.
Australians Emma Snowsill and Brad Kahlefeldt both won gold the last time triathlon was on the Commonwealth Games program in Melbourne in 2006.