RETURING FROM A LAYOFF: Mel Hauschildt has endured a long wait through injury.
RETURING FROM A LAYOFF: Mel Hauschildt has endured a long wait through injury. John Mccutcheon

Hauschildt ready to return to fold

SUNSHINE Coast's two-time ironman 70.3 world champion Melissa Hauschildt is on the comeback trail.

Injury prevented the 2011 and 2013 world title holder from competing following her win the Ironman Melbourne in March.

Now, she's eager to perform well at Ironman 70.3 Geelong on February 7.

"I can't wait to get back racing," she said.

"I was training really hard on the bike all last year waiting for an answer with my rib injury.

"I thought it was going to really pay off at Kona and I'd be able to see the improvements I'd made on the bike but that time never came, I didn't get to race.

"It's now almost a year since I've raced so I'm really looking forward to getting back out there."

Hauschildt will be joined in the field by fellow Sunshine Coaster and Ironman 70.3 Port Macquarie champion Radka Vodickova.

But they will face a stern test against the likes of Annabel Luxford, who capped off a superb 2015 with consecutive ironman 70.3 wins at Western Sydney and Ballarat.

Others to race are Dutch star Yvonne Van Vlerken, who was third at Ironman Western Australia and second at Ballarat, and Andrea Forrest, who enjoyed 70.3 podiums at Port Macquarie and Western Sydney.

The men's field will include Sunshine Coast's 2012 ironman world champion Pete Jacobs and Mooloolaba's Dave Dellow.

Dellow is a winner of the coveted Noosa Triathlon, who finished fourth in the Ironman Western Australia.

The first major race for the 2016 season has attracted quality with multiple world champions and quantity with 27 women and 29 men on the start line.

Five-time world champion, and four-time Geelong winner, Craig Alexander be among the men racing as will Victorian Leon Griffin, a multiple ironman 70.3 champion, and Frances Cyril Viennot, who finished sixth at last year's Ironman World Championship.


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