Bunbury triathlete Ryan Bailie qualifies for Rio

BUNBURY triathlete Ryan Bailie has booked his seat on the plane to Rio for the 2016 Olympics.

The 26-year-old secured his spot in the Australian team after he finished fourth in the weekend’s 2016 World Triathlon Series Gold Coast race.

After the event Bailie told reporters his Rio qualification was yet to sink in.

“If someone told me six years ago I’d be going to my first Olympic Games, I probably would have laughed at you – now I’m speechless,” he said.

“It has taken a lot of hard work to get here … and I owe a lot to my coach Jamie Turner.”

In balmy 30 degree conditions, Bailie finished in 1:37.41, just 63 seconds behind the winner. He also managed to fight of a niggle in his calf during the race.

“The heat wasn’t really the issue, I felt my calf go about five kilometres in and it just kept tightening,” he said.

“I was so scared I was going to pull it — I’ve had a few calf dramas — but somehow it came on.”

The fourth placing equals Bailie’s best effort in the ITU world series and was enough to guarantee him Olympic selection.

In 2014, Bailie finished fifth in the men’s triathlon at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and claimed a bronze medal in the team triathlon.