The Gold Coast’s Tokyo Olympian Matt Hauser pushed himself to the limit to defend his Australian Sprint Championship title in Devonport today as he mounts his campaign for a second Commonwealth Games.
The 23-year-old Gold Coaster admitted he was pushed all the way over the sprint course, 750m swim, 20km bike and five-kilometre run in and around the Mersey Bluff precinct after setting up the win with a solid swim-bike.
But in the end the former Junior World Champion showed why he is one of Australia’s most exciting Elite triathletes, running away with the victory from Callum McClusky (ACT) who secured a well deserved podium finish after seven previous attempts with Hauser’s Gold Coast-based training partner Lorcan Redmond a powerful third.
It was a huge confidence-booster for Hauser in preparation for the Gold Coast Triathlon on April 3, which will act as the first automatic nomination race for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
“It was a tough race out there, I got pushed all the way and I worked with Matt Roberts my training partner on the Gold Coast on the bike and we were able to get a decent lead going into the run,” said Hauser, fourth in the 2018 Games on the Gold Coast.
“The race was set up by the swim-run for me and the run was just finishing off the job after Matt and I kept a really good rhythm throughout the ride and we stayed positive and stayed on it.
“We knew the others would start thinking about the run eventually and we just had to keep pushing forward and keep pushing over that hill.
“Matt is really good on the technical downhill sections and I let him take that part so we worked well together as a team.
“And I was able to hold my form on the run leg and finish off the job; I was quite pleased with the result.
“It was hard out there, I’m not going to lie, I was pretty puffed when I finished off but that was due to the work I’d done earlier in the race so I was pretty pleased with the way I set myself up.
“It’s a great confidence booster and I can move forward knowing that the form’s there and continue to build into the training which is a positive for me and hopefully I can get on the top step in a few more races.”
The women’s race saw last year’s Under 23 Devonport race winner, Sydney’s Matilda Offord break through for her maiden Elite Open win just a month after joining the NSW Performance Centre, under new head coach, Liam O’Neill.
Offord, 22, and her breakthrough win is the perfect pre-cursor in her bid for automatic Australian Under 23 Team selection at the Mooloolaba Triathlon in two weeks.
“I’m just stoked to win my first Elite race just a month into joining Liam and after winning here in the Under 23s last year so it’s good to get the top step in the Elites,” said Offord, who set up her win with a strategic ride on the bike.
“I’m one who likes to pace myself off the bike and I just settled in and found my self in front and then just took one step at a time after that, with the bike being more strategic rather than use of brute strength.
“The girls weren’t too keen on rolling through; they were either hurting or I was just feeling good and thankfully it was the latter.”
Offord ran away with the win opening up a commanding lead after the first of two 2.5km run laps – holding on to take her first Elite win ahead of fast finishing 2018 Commonwealth Games representative Charlotte McShane, with Sophie Linn also coming home strongly for third.
Meanwhile in the Junior Men’s and Women’s races, the Gold Coast’s Brad Course and Melbourne’s former Canberra-based Chloe Bateup won their respective Oceania Triathlon Sprint Cup races – also securing automatic selection on the Australian Team for the World Championships in Canada later in the year.
“I had some good form coming into the race and I knew first place was an automatic selection for the World Championships in Canada later in the year so it will be great to make my Australian Team debut, pull on the green and gold and hopefully see what I’ve got in my first international race,” said Course
Seventeen-year-old Course from Mudgeeraba praised his coach Dan Atkins and training partners, Tokyo Olympian Hauser, Roberts and Redmond.
“They’ve all been teaching me what to do and it has made a world of difference and I guess the squad that Dan Atkins has built on the Gold Coast is like family; we are all very close and they make me feel welcome and I'm so thankful,” said Course.
Bateup, under noted Australian team coach Danielle Stefano, has made a big but already rewarding move to Melbourne, excited to gain automatic selection for the World Championships.
“It’s a big box ticked and I’m really excited to head overseas this year and to see how I go. Very keen to experience it with no (real) expectations but certainly keen to get over there,” said Bateup.
1st - Matt Hauser
2nd - Callum McClusky
3rd - Lorcan Redmond
1st - Matilda Offord
2nd - Charlotte McShane
3rd - Sophie Linn
1st - Lorcan Redmond
2nd - Luke Schofield
3rd - Luke Bate
1st - Matilda Offord
2nd - Jessica Ewart-Mctigue
3rd - Milan Agnew
1st - Brad Course
2nd - Brayden Mercer
3rd - Liam Dixon
1st - Chloe Bateup
2nd - Tara Sosinski
3rd - Kelsey Mitchell
Triathlon Australia | Delly Carr