Australia’s Matt Hauser has given his Commonwealth Games hopes a boost, claiming his first World Triathlon Championship Series medal with a second placing in Hamburg, Germany.
Hauser took the lead during the closing leg of Saturday’s sprint distance – 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run – race and held on to take the silver after being run down by New Zealand’s Olympic bronze medallist Hayden Wilde who collected the gold.
It was a timely show of podium form from Hauser who is preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham where he is set to contest the first individual medal event on July 29.
“I’m stoked,” said Hauser. “It (a first WTCS podium) is something that has been in my mind for a long time.
“I had a great result earlier on in the year in Yokohama (fourth) and I was able to show my run form there.
“To be honest I had an exciting feeling that Hamburg held something special for me this weekend.”
Wilde passed Hauser with about 2km left to run and won in 53 minutes 10 seconds while the Australian clocked 53:13, with Morocco’s Jawad Abdelmoula (53:26) third.
Hauser will again come up against series leader Wilde at the Commonwealth Games, along with Great Britain’s Olympic silver medallist Alex Yee, who sat out Saturday’s race.
“I think we’re quite privileged to have two of the strongest men in WTCS (Wilde and Yee) racing in the Commonwealth,” said Hauser.
“It was a satisfying feeling being up with the pace this time around and hopefully I’ll be able to replicate that come Birmingham.”
Of the other Australians, Luke Willian and Hauser’s Birmingham teammate Jake Birtwhistle were 27th and 39th respectively, while third Games representative Brandon Copeland was forced to miss the race with COVID-19
In the women’s race, US-based Sophie Linn who was the best of the Australians with a strong-finishing 20th as three-time world champion and Olympic gold medallist Flora Duffy of Bermuda overcame a 10-second penalty to win a fourth Hamburg title from Beth Potter (GBR) with Lisa Tertsch (GER) claiming her first podium.
Australians Jaz Hedgeland and Birmingham-bound Charlotte McShane were 23rd and 35th respectively with Kira Hedgeland also forced to isolate after testing COVID-19 positive on the eve of the race.