Triathlete Matt Hauser wins bronze to begin Australia’s Birmingham medal tally

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Roger Vaughn / AAP News
Images: Al Bello/Getty Images

 

The Gold Coast 2018 mixed relay gold medallist wins individual bronze to start Australia’s Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games medal tally.

 

Matt Hauser has won Australia’s first medal of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games and given his sport a sorely-needed boost with bronze in the triathlon.

The 24-year-old Queenslander just failed to run down New Zealander Hayden Wilde at the finish as England’s Alex Yee won the gold medal.

Wilde, the world No.1, had to serve a 10-second penalty immediately before the finish for undoing his helmet a split-second too early as he racked his bike in the cycle-run transition.

But he had enough time up his sleeve to hold off Hauser.

“My coach was yelling out ‘Hayden has got a penalty’ and I was like ‘I’m just trying to hang onto third here mate, crikey’,” said Hauser.

“I could see him waiting (in the penalty area) and I did all I can, I emptied the tank that’s for sure.

“I was hoping for him to do a bit more of a celebration towards the end and me sneak through to second, but it’s good to across third nonetheless.

“It is a great honour t o kick the Games off for Australia and let’s hope we can keep going through strong.”

 

 

Yee won the 750m swim, 20km cycle and 5km run triathlon at Sutton Park, north of Birmingham, in 50 minutes 34 seconds.

Wilde was 13 seconds off the pace and Hauser was a further three seconds back, while Australian Gold Coast silver medallist Jake Birtwhistle was 32 seconds behind Yee in fourth.

It was Hauser’s second Commonwealth Games medal, after he won gold as a member of the mixed triathlon relay team at the Gold Coast Games and was also fourth in the individual race.

Hauser’s medal also marks a timely boost for the sport after the disaster of the Tokyo Olympics last year, where Australia were well out of medal contention in all events.

Yee won silver and Wilde took bronze in Tokyo , but Birtwhistle was 16th and Hauser took 24th.

“It’s one occasion that I’m happy to book some extra luggage on the way home – it’s a great confidence booster,” Hauser said of Friday’s big result.

In his Games debut, Australian Brandon Copeland finished 22nd at 3:46.

Australians Natalie Van Coevorden, Sophie Linn and Charlotte McShane will race from 2330 AEST in the women’s triathlon, over the same course.

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