Port Fairy triathlete Ruben De Silva-Smith has a huge summer ahead of him and his first mission is to defend his Killarney Triathlon title.
The 16-year-old took out the Killarney Foreshore Triathlon in March, crossing the line in just under one hour and 10 minutes.
Warrnambool Tri Club's president Ian Barnes believes the youngster is the favourite for the open event at Killarney Recreation Reserve on Sunday morning.
"I think he'll be the one to try and catch," he said.
"He's does a lot of cycling and athletics.
"He's one of the young guns."
The Killarney Triathlon involves a 500 metre swim, 16 kilometre bike ride and 4km run.
De Silva-Smith, who moved from Bendigo to Port Fairy about a year ago, won the club's open duathlon last month in a time of 42 minutes and 11 seconds.
He also received South West Sport Academy's Cycling Program Athlete of the Year award as well the Overall Excellence Award last week.
The promising youngster, who focuses on cycling in winter and triathlons in summer, has big goals.
"I've been training for Olympic distance triathlons which are about twice the size of the one I'm doing on Sunday," he said.
Olympic distance includes a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run.
De Silva-Smith has his sights set on a couple of Victorian Triathlon Series events.
He'd like to take on the Olympic distance at Sandringham on December 8 and at St Kilda on March 29.
But he also wants to compete in as many Warrnambool Tri Club events as he can.
"They're always good practice," he said.
De Silva-Smith, whose strength is the bike leg, said he'd like to maintain the good bike form he built up in winter.
The Emmanuel College Year 11 student added he'd like to work on his swimming to try and get faster.
De Silva-Smith started competing in triathlons when he lived in Bendigo and attended Bendigo South East College.
"At the end of Year 7, I got approached by my school's triathlon coach and he wanted me in the triathlon squad,' he said.
He has since represented Victoria at the Australian Schools Triathlon Championship.
The committed triathlete trains about ten hours a week.
He has also participated in a couple of Athletics Victoria Shield League meets with new south-west club, Athletics South West Turbines.
The teenager said he was grateful to his coaches including South West Sport Academy's Kerry King (cycling, triathlon), Jeremy Dixon (athletics) and Jayson Lamb (swimming).
The Killarney Triathlon starts at 9am on Sunday and includes a 500m swim, 16km bike ride and 4km run.
There will also be a Come and Tri event which involves a 250m swim, 8km bike ride and 2km run.
Warrnambool Tri Club is hosting its Couch to Coast Family Triathlon day on Saturday also at Killarney Recreation Reserve.
Events start from 2pm and the day will include a family-friendly 'Splash, Dash and Dawdle' (50m swim, 500m bike ride, 200m run), a women's non-competitive triathlon and junior events.
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