Australia’s Commonwealth Games athletes are set to shine on day one of competition in Birmingham, with six of the 14-strong triathlon and paratriathlon team ready to take aim across the Men’s and Women’s Individual Triathlon Finals this evening from 8:00pm AEST.
Following the spectacular Games Opening Ceremony at Alexander Stadium earlier this morning, where Australia led out the athlete parade of nations, it’s now down to business where the stage is set for another classic Commonwealth Games battle as triathlon makes its fifth appearance on the schedule.
The first medal of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games will be raced and won in the triathlon sprint distance at Sutton Park, just outside Birmingham, with Australia represented by Charlotte McShane, Natalie Van Coevorden and Sophie Linn in the women’s event and Brandon Copeland, Jacob Birtwhistle and Matthew Hauser representing the Aussie men.
The sprint-distance course takes place over a 750m swim of Powell’s Pool lake in Sutton Park before transitioning to a fast 4-lap 20km bike through the city streets and rounding off with a 2-lap, 5km run course back in Sutton Park.
Team Australia have been quietly building through the season with Hauser coming into an impressive run of form landing his first WTCS podium in Hamburg after 4th place in Yokohama. Hauser has the added motivation to make the podium this year after finishing fourth at the Gold Coast Games in 2018 by just two seconds.
Hauser is 10th in the international rankings, and he will go head-to-head with New Zealand’s world No.1 Hayden Wilde, as well as English star Alex Yee, who is ninth.
“I’ve always known those performances are there in me, but it’s nice to finally get some bang for my buck,” Hauser said of his encouraging international form this season.
While 2018 silver medallist Birtwhistle and face of the new generation Copeland will be ready to show their potential as they hit the starting line.
Full men’s start lists available here.
The women’s race will be just as hotly contested with current world number one Georgia Taylor-Brown of England, contending with Tokyo Olympic Champion, Bermuda’s Flora Duffy as she looks to be the first triathlete to successfully defend their Commonwealth Games title after her success in 2018.
Australia’s women show a mix of experience and rookie energy with McShane joining her second Commonwealth Games Australian team after her 11th placed finish at the 2018 Gold Coast Games, while Van Coevorden and Linn will be making their Games debut. All have the potential to deliver eye-catching performances over the sprint distance.
Van Coevorden will don the green and gold, wearing race number six, and is ready to prove her strengths in the green and gold.
"After last year ... it was pretty cool that finally my results could get me onto a major Games team," she said.
"It's a really exciting time.
"I'm looking forward to getting out there and proving I deserve to be on that team ... I really want to put my best foot forward."
Full women’s start lists available here.
Friday 11:00am BST Men’s Individual | 8:00pm AEST
Friday 2.30pm BST Women’s Individual | 11:30pm AEST
Sunday 11:00am BST Men’s and Women’s PTVI | 8:00pm AEST
Sunday 2.30pm BST Mixed Team Relay | 11:30pm AEST