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 > Home Page > About > Latest News > A word from our Commonwealth Games athletes

A word from our Commonwealth Games athletes


A word from our Commonwealth Games athletes

From the moment our 2018 Commonwealth Games athletes crossed the finish line, they have been in high demand with media and supporter appearances.

Now they are back to a bit of ‘normality’ and getting on with training and life – and of course, whatever is the ‘next goal’ for our phenomenal twelve athletes who did us so proud earlier this month.

We caught up with a few of them who wanted to pass on a little about their experience and to say a massive THANKS for the support of the Triathlon Australia community.

Jake Birtwhistle:

The Commonwealth Games was an amazing experience. The crowd support was unbelievable; it was unlike anything I will likely ever experience again. I am so thankful for the well wishes in the lead up to the games and messages of support after.

Matthew Hauser:

The Commonwealth Games at home will be an experience I’ll never forget because it was like none other. The atmosphere, the way the crowds lifted the Australian athletes and the team success was amazing and I couldn’t be more proud to be apart of this sport that we all love.

To the whole Triathlon Australia community, I want to give a massive thank you for all of your support and well wishes throughout the journey, from grass roots to age group to high performance. I can’t wait to see the next generation thrive off the performance pathway that has carried me up until now. Cheers, Matt Hauser.

Luke Willian:

I had a blast at The Games! A truly unique and unforgettable experience. One of the highlights was the unlimited food, the biggest highlight was the race itself. I just couldn’t get over the Aussie crowd, it was so loud my ears didn’t stop ringing. I am so grateful for being given the opportunity to represent Australia at this level of competition. The TA support staff were amazing in every facet. They took the stress out of a high pressure environment. The entire experience was one to remember. 

Gillian Backhouse:

The Commonwealth Games were without a doubt, two of the most memorable weeks of my life. It was absolutely amazing to race for Australia, not just as a member of the triathlon team, but as part of the whole larger team Aus. I really felt I was there to represent and race for Australia, and everyone out there supporting, in a way I haven't felt before even at the World Champs. The support out on course for both in individual and the mixed relay races was phenomenal, really helped me lift, and made the whole experience even more special, so thank you to everyone who supported both on the course and from afar.

The atmosphere and excitement around the whole games was infectious, and I loved meeting so many people who came to volunteer, or to watch and support. I also really enjoyed my time in the village after my racing had finished, going out and supporting other sports, and soaking up the whole experience.

Ashleigh Gentle:

You would be very limited in what you could achieve in this sport if you were alone. Loved ones in the grandstand, cheers on course and messages from afar - were all appreciated more than I can try to describe. 

Wearing the green and gold in a hometown Major Games was an incredibly unique and amazing experience. I fell short of my individual goals, but we lifted as a team to bring home the Gold. I have come out of the Commonwealth Games a better athlete, and I'm more motivated than ever before. Thank you to the loyal Triathlon Australia supporters who continue to stand by us. 

Charlotte McShane:

I will forever cherish my memories of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. My race didn’t go to plan and I’m still incredibly disappointed with my result, but the days following are what made it special.

I felt awful when I crossed the line but when I exited the athletes lounge I was greeted by my family, friends and people out supporting our event - who were all incredibly excited to watch the race. That really helped me put it in perspective and I couldn’t help but smile :) The triathlon fans on the course were incredible and I felt very proud to be Australian.

I loved being able to take pictures and chat with aspiring junior athletes who were out watching as I fondly remember watching our Australian athletes in Melbourne in 2006. 

I spent the following 10 days after my race in the athlete’s village hanging out with my Triathlon Aus team mates and spectating different events. It was so much fun to learn about new sports and also meet new athletes. 

One of the highlights was taking part in the Gold Run with Ashleigh Gentle. We were amongst 6,600 other participants following 5km of the marathon course. We were lucky enough to run alongside Kurt Fearnley and ‘Beast Boy’ as they took part in the 5km (30 minutes after Kurt won the marathon!)

Bill Chaffey:

The Comm Games experience & the integration of para with able bodied events made it so much more enjoyable than any other games experience.

I’m happy to have come away from my race (after crashing) with a bronze medal, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely gutted over making a mistake I truly believe cost me a gold medal. 

The support I received pre, during & post race from the TA audience and the general public as a whole has been overwhelming & sincerely is appreciated. 

Scott Crowley:

From the minute I arrived at the airport till the time I left, it was an experience of a lifetime.

The athletes village was a buzz, and it was great to be surrounded by likeminded people with the same goals and sporting desires.

Race-day is hard to describe. The energy around Southport that morning was electric (it was also very hot and humid!)

Every corner on the course was packed with people screaming for the Aussies. I gave the race everything I had, and the support of my family, friends and the loud crowd made it easy to do so. 

I would like to thank Triathlon Australia, Commonwealth Games Australia Team and organising committee, the game shapers (volunteers) and everyone else who made the 2018 Commonwealth Games a truly remember able experience and something that I will cherish for ever.

Sara-Ashlee Tait:

Having my first Commonwealth Games at home here on the Gold Coast was such an amazing experience! The lead up to the event was a bit of a whirlwind with the Aussie Team Reception, Baton Relay and Opening Ceremony on consecutive days.

The energy and excitement across the Coast, within the Team and throughout the Village was quite contagious! I was very happy with how calm and confident I felt heading into the race, and I was able to race close to my potential on the day.

The atmosphere in the stands and out on the course was absolutely indescribable and I felt the crowds encouragement driving me on. Although I didn't come home with a medal, I did get a PB, and felt that the whole experience will help me develop as an athlete.

I feel so lucky to of had the opportunity to share my life passion with the people that I care about the most. I am really encouraged by my performance and who knows, in 4 years time it might well be me up there on the podium! Thank you so much to the whole TA community for your ongoing support and encouragement.