Triathletes first named on Comm Games team

Steve Larkin
Jake Birtwhistle is one of six triathletes named for Australia's Commonwealth Games team

Rising Australian triathlete Jake Birtwhistle is undaunted at the prospect of competing against the world's best at next year's Commonwealth Games.

Birtwhistle is among six triathletes named on Friday as the first members of Australia's team for the Gold Coast Games next April.

The 22-year-old Tasmanian enjoyed a break season on the world circuit this year, wining the mixed relay world championships in Hamburg and collecting two silver medals in individual races.

And he has set his sights on toppling a world-class field on the Gold Coast likely to include the three podium finishers at last year's Olympics - England's Brownlee brothers, Jonny and Alistair, and South African Henri Schoeman.

"I think that is the kind of attitude you have to take into all races," Birtwhistle told AAP on Friday.

"Looking at my form over the past 12 months, that is the goal of the Commonwealth Games and what I'm going there planning to do.

"After a few years on the circuit you get the feel of who is the best and how you compare and on my day I know I am one of those guys now."

Birtwhistle's feats secured automatic selection in April, with compatriots Ashleigh Gentle and Charlotte McShane also gaining guaranteed spots.

Queensland trio Luke Willian, Matt Hauser and Gillian Backhouse will also compete on the Gold Coast as discretionary selections.

The 19-year-old Hauser, who won the ITU world junior championship in Rotterdam this year, is the youngest on the team while 27-year-old McShane is the oldest.

Rio Olympian Gentle, 26, is the sole survivor from the 2014 Commonwealth Games team and from last year's Olympics.

After Birtwhistle gained automatic selection, he changed coaches and altered his training program.

"It seems to be working pretty well for me, I'm happy to have that move," he said.

"Now it's a bit more specific toward what I need. Coming from a running background, I had that there.

"Now I'm just trying to chip away on my swim a bit more whereas before it wasn't getting the attention that it needed."

Australia has won six Commonwealth Games triathlon medals, including two gold, at past editions in 2002, 2006 and 2014.

The Gold Coast Games will be held from April 4-15.