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Australia's Elites Gear Up for World Triathlon Championships in Hamburg

Australia's Elites Gear Up for World Triathlon Championships in Hamburg

There will be no place to hide for Australia’s nine-strong Elite triathlon team when they hit the ground running in Hamburg this week for the first ever World Triathlon Super-Sprint World Championships.

The Aussies will be headlined by Olympians Matt Hauser, Jake Birtwhistle, Jaz Hedgeland and Emma Jackson for the loaded German round of the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) in a week that promises to be a feast of fast and furious racing individually before finishing with the Mixed Relay World Championships.

The WTCS round also forms part of the ongoing Olympic qualification process for Paris 2024 as does the Mixed Relay with two male and two female quota spots on the line.

The men’s Super-Sprint will see an in-form Hauser and his Tokyo teammate Birtwhistle joined in the qualifiers by Brandon Copeland and Callum McClusky.

While in the women’s qualifiers Hedgeland and Jackson will have Australia’s highest ranked WTCS female Natalie Van Coevorden, Kira Hedgeland and Sophie Linn for company on the start line.

The World Super Sprint races will consist of a 300m swim in the Binnenalster lake before a tight and technical three-lap, 7.5km bike course through the Hamburg city centre and finishing with a two-lap 1.6km run in front of the Rathaus (City Hall).

Qualifiers and Repechage races will see the fastest 30 men and 30 women through to Saturday’s three-stage finals. 

There, the last ten across the finish line will be cut from the next round, until just ten athletes are left standing to battle it out for the first Super-Sprint World Titles and all-important Series and Olympic points.

Birtwhistle and Copeland will line up in the first Qualifier alongside Olympic silver medallist Alex Yee (GBR) who won the Super Sprint last year in Montreal, Jonas Schomburg (GER) Manoel Messias (BRA) and Jelle Geens (BEL).

While Hauser and McClusky will face off against Olympic bronze medallist and Yokohama WTCS winner Hayden Wilde (NZL), Olympic champion Kristian Blummenfelt (NOR) and the in-form Csongor Lehmann (HUN) in Qualifier Two.

Last start WTCS Montreal winner, Hauser, says that Hamburg, where he was second last year to Wilde, is an iconic race and he’s ready to feed off the energy it presents. 

“I remember I felt like a junior last year all over again, having not been back since I was 19 in 2017,” said Hauser.

“This year will be no different, I know I'm in good shape and the Super-Sprint format will certainly get the crowd even more amped.”

Hauser said he celebrated his Montreal win, and got right back to work, continuing his success by winning the French Grand Prix event last week knowing the more exposure to intense and adaptable racing would set him up well for Hamburg. 

“It's always typically front-end racing as well which is super important leading into the Mixed Team Relay and the Super Sprint World Champs where you need to be in the race from the gun,” said Hauser.

“I was really happy to get the win over some quality competition there and did it from the breakaway pack on the bike which I may have to do in races to come.

“I found it quite easy to get back to focus mentally (after Montreal) while physically it was obviously a tough strain on the body, so a few days easy were in order back in our Banyoles training base."

The women’s Qualifiers will see Jackson and Kira Hedgeland line up in the opening women’s heat along with WTCS Series leader Taylor Spivey (USA),  Beth Potter (GBR) and Lisa Tertsch (GER) while Linn, Van Coevorden and Jaz Hedgeland will have a real battle on their hands in a stacked second Qualifier with USA foursome Summer Rappaport, Kirsten Kasper,  Katie Zaferes and 2016 Olympic and World Champion Gwen Jorgensen as well as Jeanne Lehair (LUX) Cassandre Beaugrand (FRA).

Colorado-based Linn says she is super excited to be back in Hamburg. 

“I have very fond memories from last year in both the individual and relay (where Australia finished second),” said Linn.

“My goals for the weekend are to be in that final and to survive as long as I can.

“In my last Super-Sprint, I was knocked out in the first round of finals, so going further than that would be great.”

Triathlon Australia’s Gold Coast Performance Centre head coach Dan Atkins knows how important it is to get a flying start in the helter-skelter Super-Sprint format.

“Being heats and finals over a very short distance it's important to get all the little things right too - swim start, transitions and the final part of the run execution,” said Atkins.

You can catch the action from the Elite Qualifiers, Repechage and Final races on TraithlonLive.

 World Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships, Hamburg Schedule
Elite Men Qualifiers, Friday 14 July, 4:00pm AEST
Elite Women Qualifiers, Friday 14 July, 6:00pm AEST
Elite Men/Women Repechage, Saturday 15 July, 3:00am AEST
Elite Men World Championships, Sunday 16 July, 12:20am AEST
Elite Women World Championships, Sunday 16 July, 12:55am AEST
Elite Mixed Relay World Championships, Sunday 16 July, 10:15pm AEST

Team Australia
Matt Hauser
Jake Birtwhistle
Brandon Copeland
Callum McClusky
Jaz Hedgeland
Emma Jackson
Natalie Van Coevorden
Kira Hedgeland
Sophie Linn

Full Elite Men Start List
Full Elite Women Start List