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HE IS the "nearly man" of the Noosa Triathlon - an athlete who has a deep connection with the event and a burning desire to win it after two previous podium finishes.

For James Seear, who as a teenager got his first taste of the sport at the Noosa Triathlon, the famous annual event is more than a race.


That is especially the case in this year's edition, where the Brisbane-based star hopes to put a disastrous injury-marred season behind him by finally putting the sword to nemesis and reigning three-time Noosa champion Courtney Atkinson.


Seear, 25, finished fifth last year, second in 2009 and third in 2008.

Atkinson, the winner of all those races, is shooting for a fourth consecutive title this week.

Beating Atkinson and winning for the first time at Noosa would be the realisation of a dream for Seear.


But more than anything, he just needs a strong showing to get his confidence back.

A bad training accident last December, when he crashed his bike and smashed his collarbone after running over a snake, severally affected his international results this season.


Underdone physically when he launched his ITU World Championship Series campaign, he was always playing catch-up and in the end was unable to capture his best form.

He ended the series at the penultimate race of the season, at Lausanne, Switzerland, in late August.


"It (the poor preparation) made it hard to race against the best in the world when they're at the top of their game, especially with Olympic selection coming up," he said.

"It was a bit of a disappointing year so I stopped looking. I decided to have a mental break.


"I called an end to the season a bit early and I'm just getting prepared for next year. I'm back in the swing of things now … it's been quite good just getting out and enjoying the sport."


Seear will go into Sunday's race in the midst of what he describes as an "experimental stage" of his career.


He is without a coach after the barring of Australian Institute of Sport's head triathlon coach, Shaun Stephens, from guiding individual athletes.

While Seear admitted that losing his coach of six years was not ideal, he graciously said it was for the betterment of the sport.


He has been training instead with his sister Maxine, the Athens Olympian, who will also compete on Sunday.


"It's been interesting," he said.

"At the moment I'm coaching myself and mixing with other athletes.

"I think I'm going fairly well."


Seear will know for sure just how well he is going on Sunday.



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