2018 Commonwealth Games Mixed Relay Gold Medallists Ashleigh Gentle and Matt Hauser have run away from the field to take out the 2020 Mixed Relay Invitational.
Joining forces as ‘The Runaway Baes’, Gentle and Hauser put together a thrilling performance to definitively claim the title, ahead of Team Fishland’s Jaz Hedgeland and Ryan Fisher and Team Beauty & the Beast’s Kira Hedgeland and Brandon Copeland.
Speaking on the result, Gentle said she was thrilled with how the duo came together to take the win today.
“I definitely laid it all out on the line there,” Gentle said.
“I went as hard as I could and caught up some spots on the run, and I had a huge amount of faith in [Matt] to be able to close the small gap.”
While the duo take-away the win today, Hauser believes they are also taking away invaluable experience in the lead-up to Mixed Relay’s debut at next year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“I think it’s just great to be able to get out here and get some more race experience and practice the one percenters,” Hauser said.
“When we get out on the world stage, you can’t really afford to make little mistakes, so to be able to have this event in our backyard to practice and perfect the skills that we’re going to execute next year, hopefully in Tokyo, is something that’s invaluable.”
Jaz Hedgeland set the tone of the day from the outset. Off the back of a sensational win in the heats, Hedgeland lay down a blistering bike and run to secure teammate Fisher a comfortable lead heading into his swim.
Chasers Kira Hedgeland, Ashleigh Gentle and Gillian Backhouse worked hard on the bike to make up time, with Gentle putting up a standout run to move her way up into third position behind Backhouse.
Fisher did well to keep his distance from a determined Hauser on the swim and bike. However, it all came down to a foot race, with Hauser refusing to let Fisher go, running him down to ultimately take the lead and the overall win.
Team Fishland’s Hedgeland and Fisher, and Team Beauty & the Beast’s Hedgeland and Copeland rounded out the podium. While Team Super Duper Extremely Fast Speed Demon’s Charlotte Derbyshire and Lorcan Redmond, and Team Slow and Steady’s Gillian Backhouse and Nicholas Free completed the top five of the A Final.
In the B Final, Team T-Rex/Energetic’s Tamsyn Hill and Jordan Reick put together a smart and skillful race to claim the win in 46:58.
Coming up against plenty of rising U23 and Junior talent, Hill worked hard throughout the race to hang tough with leader Georgie Fredericks, handing off to Reick in second position.
With both Team EG’s Ethan Close, Team Fast But Not Too Furious’ Luke Harvey, Team Triple F’s Michael Ylinen, and Reick forming a lead pack on the bike, the race came down to the run.
Reick proved he had the legs to go the distance, sprinting away from Harvey late in the race to claim the overall title for Team T-Rex/Energetic. Team Fast But Not Too Furious’ Jess Ashworth and Harvey took home second, with Team Triple F’s Briana Mow and Ylinen rounding out the podium.
Triathlon Australia would like to thank the City of Gold Coast and the Gold Coast Performance Centre for their support of the Mixed Relay Invitational.
In a change of pace from today’s racing, Australia’s Elite, U23 and Junior athletes will now turn their attention towards this Sunday’s Moreton Bay Standard Distance Professional Race.
2020 Mixed Relay Invitational
1st – “The Runaway Baes” Ashleigh Gentle and Matt Hauser
2nd – “Fishland” Jaz Hedgeland and Ryan Fisher
3rd – “Beauty and the Beast” Kira Hedgeland and Brandon Copeland
1st – “T-Rex/Energetic” Tamysyn Hill and Jordan Reick
2nd – “Fast But Not Too Furious” Jess Ashworth and Luke Harvey
3rd – “Triple F” Michael Ylinen and Briana Mow
Photo Credit: Freeway Studios