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Defending champion Courtney Atkinson has admitted comeback king Craig Walton still owns the Noosa Triathlon, but won’t be running scared in his attempt to emulate the 34-year-old.
Walton, who has won a record six Noosa titles, announced his return to the sport last month and revealed he wanted to prevent fellow Gold Coaster Atkinson matching his effort of being the only man to achieve a Noosa three-peat.
The Sydney Olympian has made his comeback at the end of a difficult year when he split as coach and partner of Emma Snowsill, who is now basing herself overseas in Germany and South Africa.
Sunday’s Noosa race represents Walton’s first big-stage event but he showed himself to be in immediate good form by crushing the field at the Kingscliff Triathlon four weeks ago.