Commonwealth Games hopefuls Matt Hauser, Charlotte McShane, Jonathan Goerlach and guide Dave Mainwaring will all use Saturday’s Devonport Triathlon and Oceania Cup and Australian Championships as a first up hit-out towards Birmingham Games.
Hauser and McShane were both members of the successful Australian triathlon team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast – Hauser a member of the gold medal winning Mixed Relay team, who was fourth in the individual race.
While McShane finished 11th in a red-hot women’s field after being a member of the gold medal Mixed Relay at the 2017 World Championships in Hamburg.
Birmingham medal hopefuls Goerlach and Mainwaring will also have games top of mind on Saturday, chasing World para triathlon ranking points, with first Commonwealth Games PTVI qualification slots decided on rankings at March 28.
Twenty-three-year-old Hauser has fond memories of the 2018 home Commonwealth Games joining Jake Birtwhistle, Ash Gentle and Gillian Backhouse on the Mixed Relay winners podium – also a fast finishing fourth in the individual which saw Birtwhistle take silver.
“Devonport is one of my favourite races on the domestic calendar – the locals treat you as if you are one of their own; it’s like a breath of fresh air,” said Hauser, the defending Devonport men’s champion.
“The weather is cooler and it’s a break from the tropical summer we’ve had on the Gold Coast and I really like the cooler climate.
“The course is a challenge over all three legs with an open water surf swim before a testing bike leg with the hill climb – and hopefully my long legs can get me home in a race that doesn’t always just come down to the run leg,” said Hauser.
“It’s a true test which is what I really like about coming down to Devonport –but don’t expect any world records, I’ll be out to get my legs a good hit out and I’m looking forward to doing it with my training partners Lorcan Redmond and Matt Roberts.
“Our coach Dan Atkins wants us to get in and have a crack but he also wants us to have fun doing it and that’s the attitude we’ll take into the race.”
McShane is former Under 23 World Champion and at 31 she is one of the most experienced and travelled triathletes among the Australian Elites who has contested Devonport in the past; in 2020 where she was 9th; in 2018 when she was third over the Sprint course and 2013 when she was also third across the line in the Sprint.
Saturday’s Sprint course (750m swim; 20km bike and 5km run) is over the 2022 Commonwealth Games distance as well which suits McShane but it remains to be seen if it still suits Dutch entrant Lotte Wilms who was seventh ahead of McShane in the 2020 Devonport Sprint race and ninth the year before.
Wilms has now combined her talents over the longer distances and won her second 70.3 race in Geelong Ironman last weekend.
The Australian-based Dutch-born former National swimmer will now call Coolum home after kick-starting her triathlon career in Sydney, dominating Geelong from the outset of the swim last week.
Only switching to triathlon in 2017, Wilms had been trying for a 2020 Olympics spot and was named as a reserve for the Netherlands triathlon team but has since successfully transferred into 70.3 racing.
Wilms’ win in Geelong was all the more impressive with it being just her second ever IRONMAN 70.3 race, after claiming victory on debut at IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast last September.
She was unstoppable at the front in Geelong, finishing in 4:07:41, more than three and a half minutes clear of Amelia Watkinson, with Victorian Grace Thek a further five minutes behind in third.
“It’s crazy, really crazy, but absolutely nice and I really like the IRONMAN races, the feeling is really good, there were a lot of people around today and the Geelong spectators were fantastic, I got so much support, I really enjoyed the race today, especially on the run,” said Wilms, who will squeeze in the Devonport Sprint before another 70.3 Challenge race in Shepparton.
Joining Goerlach and Mainwaring on the star-studded start list and racing over the sprint distance of the Oceania Paratriathlon Cup Devonport are Tokyo 2020 Paralympians – Silver Medallist and world number one Lauren Parker, Nic Beveridge and David Bryant.
Devonport providing the first opportunity to obtain valuable ranking points, ahead of the 2022 Oceania Paratriathlon Championships Stockton and the international season.
Juniors from across the country will also descend on Devonport for the Oceania Cup and Australian Junior Sprint Championships on Saturday, joining elites in Sunday’s Australian Elite Mixed Relay Championships (State of Origin) racing.
2022 Oceania Triathlon Para Cup Devonport
SATURDAY START TIMES
Sprint Course (750 Swim; 20km Bike; 5km Run)
7am Paratriathlon Continental Cup
9.30am Sprint Triathlon Junior Men
10.30 Sprint Triathlon Junior Women
Noon Sprint Triathlon Elite Men
1pm Sprint Triathlon Elite Women
SUNDAY START TIMES
7am Australian Mixed Relay Championship