Jackson mounts case for Tokyo tri berth

Australian triathlete Emma Jackson is aiming for a second Olympics in Tokyo as qualifying hots up.
Australian triathlete Emma Jackson is aiming for a second Olympics in Tokyo as qualifying hots up.

Emma Jackson won't waste her energy worrying about a rare double chance at an Olympic medal, the triathlete confident her resurgent form will see her picked for a second Games in Tokyo next year.

The 28-year-old celebrated an end to a run of serious foot, quad and back injuries with a maiden World Triathlon Series (WTS) victory in Edmonton earlier this year.

That result showed the London Olympian she could again beat the best and Jackson hopes selectors agree as they try to squeeze five female triathletes into three spots in Japan.

Fellow WTS race winner Ashleigh Gentle is a front-runner given she is comfortably the highest-ranked Australian in the rankings, with Jackson, Emma Jeffcoat, Jaz Hedgeland and Natalie Van Coevorden further down the list seemingly vying for the remaining two spots.

They will be awarded discretionally, with form in the remaining WTS events next year before the selection cut-off date sure to play a role.

Jackson could be seen to hold an edge though, boasting that series win in Edmonton while also finishing as the highest-placed Australian woman at a Tokyo test event earlier this year.

"The last few years with all my injuries, just getting back to racing was a good thing in itself and the good performances on top of that were reassuring," she told AAP.

"Ash and I are the only (Australian) ones racing who have won a WTS race ... only four girls (across eight events) in the whole world won a leg this year, so to be one of them is pretty amazing.

"I always think about selection but ... I won't work myself up over it, you just go out training and think 'this is why I'm doing it'."

The introduction of a mixed relay event, in which Australia will start as realistic medal hopes, is the extra carrot for a female program that has medalled in all but the Rio since triathlon was introduced at Sydney's 2000 Games.

The mixed relay team will be selected from within the three men and women chosen for the individual race.

"To have a chance for that would be something great it doubles your medal chances," Jackson, who finished an impressive eighth in her Olympic debut, said.

"Hopefully I get the chance to be part of a relay (in upcoming meets to prove her all-round credentials).

"To get a medal would be most people's dream."

Australian Associated Press