Australia's Ashleigh Gentle will hope to defend her title at the Mooloolaba Triathlon World Cup event ©Getty Images

Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle will hope to triumph again in front of a home crowd at the Mooloolaba Triathlon World Cup event tomorrow.

The event will serve as the first International Triathlon Union (ITU) event of the season, following the postponement of the World Triathlon Series opening in Abu Dhabi earlier this month due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Gentle is among a strong field for the women’s event and will target a repeat of her 2019 triumph.

The Australian will be challenged by a trio of British triathletes, including 2019 World Triathlon Series runner-up Jessica Learmonth.

Georgia Taylor-Brown, and 2018 world champion Vicky Holland will hope to be in contention to win the event.

United States’ Kirsten Kasper and Renee Tomlin are also set to be among the starters, along with New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt.

"I do love racing at home," Gentle said.

"If you look at my resume, I have had some successful races on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast because I love the Queensland crowds and being so close to home, very happy to be back.

"I wanted to get things going here in Mooloolaba, being such a big year with the Olympics and we’ve got to be able to have good form now but not be too ready to go because you’ve got to try and peak in July.

"I have to keep in the back of my mind that I still have to get selected into the Australian team."

New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde is among the favourites for the men’s race.

He could face competition from compatriot Sam Ward, as well as Australia’s Luke Willian, Brandon Copeland and Ryan Bailie.

The sprint distance event will see athletes swim 750 metres, cycle 20 kilometres and run 5km.