Jacob Birtwhistle's big day

Jacob Birtwhistle signalled he's arrived at the top levels of the sport in taking the final race in the Super League Triathlon.

| March 20, 2017 | PERSONALITY

Jacob Birtwhistle wins the Eliminator on the final day of racing at the Super League Triathlon.

Jacob Birtwhistle wins the Eliminator on the final day of racing at the Super League Triathlon.

Photo >Delly Carr

TriahtlonWorld.com columnist Phil Wrochna made it clear on just how impressive 22-year-old Australian phenom Jacob Birtwhistle's performance was on Hamilton Island:

"Birtwhistle can win a gold medal in Tokyo," he wrote. "It’s as simple as that."

He works with Jamie Turner, the same man who carefully guided Gwen Jorgensen to gold in Rio last year. Like Jorgensen, Birtwhistle comes from a running background - in his running days he won 11 Australian championships in middle-distance events. At 17 he decided to make the move and focus more on triathlon racing.

All weekend long at the Super League Triathlon Birtwhistle kept appearing at the front of the pack and, on Sunday, he burst away from two of the biggest names in ITU racing, Richard Murray and Mario Mola, to take the final stage of the race. That big finish moved him up on to the podium for the event. It also signaled just how bright a future he has.