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Hauser Charges Into Third Spot On The World Triathlon Championship Rankings

Hauser Charges Into Third Spot On The World Triathlon Championship Rankings

For the first time, Australia’s Matt Hauser has climbed into third place overall on the 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) Rankings in Hamburg today.

The 25-year-old finished a close-up fifth in an epic ten-strong shoot-out in the inaugural men’s World Super Sprint Final and WTCS round around the cobblestoned streets of Germany’s triathlon capital.

 The gripping format that could well find its way onto the Olympic stage in Los Angeles in 2028 surely impressed IOC president Thomas Bach as he joined the thousands of spectators that lined the course as the intense and at times dramatic day’s racing unfolded.

 In the end, just seven seconds separated the winner, New Zealand’s Hayden Wilde, and the first five after three cut-throat elimination stages – narrowing down the field from 30 to 20 and eventually a 10-strong final.

 In the final it was Wilde who stole a march on the front-runners on the final bike turn followed by a slick T2 transition after the 300m swim and 7km bike leg when he nailed his move onto the 1.75km run leg.

 The 26-year-old was never headed, leaving Vasco Vilaca (Portugal), Alex Yee (Great Britain), Kristian Blummenfelt (Norway) and the Hauser to fight out the minor placings.

Wilde crossed the line, slumping exhausted to the blue carpet after 19 minutes and 26 seconds, holding off Vilaca (19:28), Yee (19:28), Blummenfelt (19:32) and Hauser (19:33) after two days of helter-skelter racing.

 An exciting format described by the leading competitors as a combination ranging from “crazy, absolute carnage and madness to great racing and really enjoyable.”

 Wilde had toiled in the first stage, having to do plenty of work on the bike to try and keep out of the pressure pit of the back of the race knowing only the top 20 would survive to stage two, claiming Hauser’s Tokyo Olympic teammate Jacob Birtwhistle as one high-profiler eliminated. 

 The second round was less frantic, though the pace was every bit as intense as Wilde again had to come from the back of the swim but found himself looking happier in the main bike group as ten more names were shaved from the start list for the final round. 

 The final saw Blummenfelt try to weaken the legs of those around him with a dynamite bike display after Csongor Lehmann (Hungary) had led from the swim, with Hauser well placed alongside Vilaca in third.

 Wilde played his hand perfectly, sweeping the final bend and gaining precious seconds over Hauser, Yee and Blummenfelt that he then doubled thanks to that fluid transition, suddenly opening a gap that those behind could do nothing about. 

 That left a 1.75km run to glory for Wilde, his first lap splitting two seconds quicker than Yee and enough of a margin for him to enjoy the blue carpet- the first time he had beaten Yee at a WTCS.

Vilaca was able to out-sprint Yee to the silver, Blummenfelt taking fourth with Hauser a close-up fifth, enough to put him into the top three in the overall rankings.

 Hauser, second to Wilde at last month’s WTCS Yokohama and who won his first Series race in Montreal a fortnight ago earned enough points to push him to 2514.86 points behind Vilaca (2938.18) and Wilde (2822.46).

 Yee (2498.67) and Blummenfelt (2156.74) are breathing down their necks with just WTCS Sunderland, the Olympic Games Test Event in Paris, and the World Triathlon Championship Finals in Pontevedra remaining in the Series.

 The women’s racing saw Australia’s Commonwealth Games Mixed Relay bronze medallist Sophie Linn the lone Aussie in the 20-strong Stage Two field.

 Well placed amongst the front bike group coming into T2, Linn appeared to get clipped by a rival, hobbling towards her bike rack, and immediately forced to retire from the race, robbing her of an almost certain top-ten place in the final.

 Earlier, fellow Australians, 2012 Olympian Emma Jackson and Linn’s fellow Commonwealth Games Mixed Team Relay bronze medallist, Natalie Van Coevorden had been eliminated in the 30-strong Stage One Field.

 A final that in the end saw Cassandre Beaugrand (France) lead home the 10-woman field from Scotland’s Beth Potter (Great Britain) and Laura Lindemann (Germany).

 Earlier in the day Australian junior foursome Bradley Course (QLD), Rhianna Hepburn (WA), Jack Crome (QLD) and Emma Olson-Keating (NSW)  finished a creditable eighth against their more experienced rivals in the Under 23/Junior Mixed Triathlon Relay World Championship, with hosts Germany running away with the win from Italy and early leaders New Zealand.