Some huge performances from Aussies around the globe this weekend - led by Gen Next athletes.
Jake Birtwhistle produced his best ever World Triathlon Series result, winning silver in dramatic circumstances in Hamburg.
Eventually collecting the silverware after a dramatic finish that saw him go from a near certain bronze medal to fourth and eventually to silver after Richard Murray who finished second was disqualified.
Photo: ITU | Janos Schmidt
Our Rio bound men Aaron Royle, Ryan Bailie and Ryan Fisher featured at the front on the bike. Fisher’s brave solo breakaway didn’t pay off, crashing in the slippery conditions but no damage done. Bailie was the next best in fifth, Royle in 11th.
Meanwhile in the women’s race there were encouraging signs from London Olympian Emma Jackson who ran herself into her best performance of the season – with a hard fought 10th from the ever-present Charlotte McShane 15th, Gillian Backhouse 37th and Natalie Van Coevorden 46th.
A never-say-die finish by Ryan Bailie sealed Australia a stirring silver medal with one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the ITU World Mixed Teams Relay Championship behind the USA in Hamburg.
Bailie, the best anchorman in the business, produced the race of his life to keep Germany’s local hero Gregor Buchholz at bay in a neck-and-neck sprint to the finish for the minor medals.
The Australians were almost certainly out of contention over the (4x 300m swim; 6.6km bike; 1.6km run) course after former Under 23 world champion Charlotte McShane led off and struggled to get herself out of the swim-bike transition.
The Aussies languished in 13th place at one stage before McShane, fighting hard on the bike and run, handed over to yesterday's in-form individual silver medallist Jake Birtwhistle.
The long striding Tasmanian produced easily the fastest 1.6km run leg of the day to put Australia into seventh and in with a shot with London Olympian Emma Jackson maintaining the rage to give Bailie a medal chance in the top six.
Bailie kept his cool on the bike and produced an amazing final run leg to nail the finish and give the Australians their second silver medal in two years behind the USA in the event which saw them take bronze in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and an event that is on the cards to make its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020.
It would be remise of us not to mention the incredible Jan Frodeno’s performance at Challenge Roth, breaking the world record on debut - 7:35:39. Australia’s Carrie Lester had an incredible race to finish second behind Daniela Ryf and 16th overall in a huge PB.
It was a golden weekend for our National Talent Academy athletes in Singapore racing the ASTC Asian Cup Triathlon with Jaz Hedgeland (WAIS) and Matthew Baker (VIS) winning the elite titles.
In the men’s and women’s Elite and Junior races Australia scooped nine of the 12 medals on offer and filled nine of the top ten in the Elite Men’s in the Standard distance race.
Jaz Hedgeland dominated the women’s race, with Holly Grice (QLD) finishing with silver.
Baker’s 34:22 run split delivered him the win in the end from Ireland’s Russell White and Declan Wilson emerging from a pack of Aussies to grab the bronze.
Our junior women made it a clean sweep led by Jessica Claxton, who was unable race last weekend but made a big statement winning from fellow Western Australian Kira Hedgeland and Katinka Von Elsner Wellsteed (QLD) rounding out the podium.
There was more celebrations for Matt Hauser claiming another win in the Junior men’s race with Kye Wylde (QLD) the bronze.
After a scorching race last weekend the Triathlon Australia staff did a great job managing the recovery and preparation for the 30 degree water temperature and 33.4 degree air that Singapore threw up.
1st Jaz HEDGELAND WAIS
2nd Holly GRICE QLD
1st Matt BAKER VIS
2nd Russell WHITE IRL
3rd Declan WILSON VIS
4th Marcel WALKINGTON VIS
5th Taylor CECIL QLD
6th James THORPE NSW
7th Dan COLEMAN QLD
8th Brandon COPELAND NSW
1st Jessica CLAXTON WA
2nd Kira HEDGELAND WA
3rd Katinka VON ELSNER WELLSTEED QLD
1st Matt HAUSER QLD
2nd Dan HOY NZL
3rd Kye WYLDE QLD
4th Liam McCOACH WA
5th Nic FREE QLD
Paul Matthews was the best placed Aussie in fifth at Ironman 70.3 Racine - a race that was reduced to a duathlon due to dangerous weather conditions and the bike leg also shortened for competitor safety. Cameron Wurf just finished outside the top ten in 11th and Richie Cunningham 13th.
Queensland’s Sarah Crowley continued her good form after a podium at Ironman Cairns with a win at the Tough Man Tri in Utah.
Leon Griffin went off road this weekend at Xterra Offroad Beaver Creek for some dirty fun. The race is a 1 mile swim / 25km mountain bike / 9.3 km trail run.
"Had a blast playing in the dirt today. Gotta say though, that course was bloody brutal and I admit was not prepared for the suffering required to stay near the front -I take my hat off to winner Josiah Middaugh, he's a beast at this off-road thing,” said Griffin