trn/irs ironman melissCCN

Last year's world champion has signed up for January's inaugural Auckland 70.3 'half' ironman.

Australian Melissa Hauschildt says Auckland is a big race for her because it's the Asia-Pacific Championship.

She joins 10-time Ironman New Zealand champion Cameron Brown and two-time Olympic medallist Bevan Docherty in the field.

Organisers expect to name several other world class athletes in the coming weeks.