Around the time that he won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, triathlete Simon Whitfield thought it a joke that he might still be competing eight years later, much less 12 years later in London.

Whitfield, who won his second Olympic medal (silver) following a dramatic come-from-behind sprint last summer in Beijing, has his eyes set on the podium in London 2012.

It will be Whitfield’s fourth Olympics.

“I remember so distinctly saying ‘I’d like to compete in Athens for a medal and then Beijing I’d just like to make the team,’” said Whitfield at an event in Vancouver yesterday to unveil Triathlon Canada’s new coaching staff.

“Now I not only want to make the team in London, I want to take a crack at a medal again.”

Whitfield, 34, said he doesn’t feel like an old man and still claims to be the most immature one on the national team. He said while it takes him longer to recover from a race, his “base” — his years of repetitive high-aerobic fitness — lets him compete with athletes more than a decade his junior.

“I love the challenge. I love the process of doing it. I like being immersed in that every day and will continue to do it.”

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