LONDON hopeful Brendan Sexton is trying hard not to think about possible Olympic selection in the lead-up to Saturday's ITU World Cup race at Mooloolaba.
The 25-year-old is in the mix to claim one of two remaining men's berths in the Australian team, but is refusing to entertain thoughts of making the squad.
"I'm trying to keep that at the back of my mind and not think about it," he said yesterday.
"That's the best way to go about it. I usually perform better if I just go into it thinking about it as a race on its own. I will just ... try and perform my best in the race under whatever circumstances."
Sexton pushed his case for selection at the Oceania Championships a fortnight ago, when he claimed victory at Devonport.
"I surprised myself with how I went," he said.
"I knew I was going well, but the margin that I won by was a bit of a surprise to me and that's given me a lot of confidence heading into the next two races at Mooloolaba and Sydney.
"It's good to know that the work I've been doing over the summer is paying off."
The next two races, which are seen by some as crucial for Olympic selection, will be held on courses where Sexton has performed well.
Sexton finished 17th in the world championship series last year and his best result was a fourth placing at Sydney.
He also snared second place at Mooloolaba - a world cup event.
"I've raced here four times now and raced well each time," he said.
"It's actually my favourite race on the world cup calendar.
"It's a race that suits me. It's often quite warm. It is a tough course and I like the hills. They always work well for me and ocean swimming is something I enjoy and seems a bit more suited to the Australians."
The Hunter Valley product, who recovered from major injury and a serious head-on training crash last year, said he knew he would face some stiff opposition on Saturday.
Among the challengers are Frenchman Laurent Verdal, three-time Noosa triathlon winner Courtney Atkinson and defending champion Brad Kahlefeld, who has already secured his spot in the Olympic team.
"All the top guys are going to race there and every race counts at the moment," Sexton said.
Although trying to avoid any hype surrounding Olympic selection, he admitted it was hard to completely forget about the prospect.
"I'd like to think I've got a good shot at the moment," he said.
"I just need to keep doing what I have been doing and I should still be in the top three Australian guys when they make the selections."