Australia’s triathletes have produced another encouraging performance for the up-coming Commonwealth Games despite a disappointing fourth in an exciting Mixed Teams Relay World Championship in Hamburg today.
The Australian team of Charlotte McShane, Aaron Royle, Emma Jackson and Dan Wilson gave a great sight –heading into the final leg in front – in an event that will be staged for the first time in a multi-sport Games event in Glasgow.
With each team member required to complete a 300m swim, 6.6km bike and 1.6km run, it was a frantic pace from the opening swim to the final run.
The Australians started with 2013 Under 23 ITU World Champion McShane who tagged 2012 Under 23 world champion in Royle who completed a brilliant second leg in second place.
Jackson, who produced a stunning silver medal in Saturday’s individual Sprint event, hung in to produce another outstanding run leg before tagging anchorman Dan Wilson in first place.
Wilson, who has been preparing for the Glasgow Games in an altitude tent in Aix Les Bains in France, took the plunge with a flying leap knowing he had to face off against Olympic champion and yesterday’s winner Alistair Brownlee and brilliant French star Vincent Luis, second yesterday.
Brownlee and Luis cleared off on the run to fight out gold and silver leaving Wilson and Hungarian Margit Vanek to battle for the bronze.
In the end it was Brownlee, who sprinted clear of Luis to take the tape for the Brits ahead of Luis, with Vanek, who stole a march on Wilson in T2, claiming an upset bronze ahead of Australia, who again had to settle for fourth.
Triathlon Australia’s National Performance Director Bernard Savage praised his team, saying there were again some very encouraging signs for the Australian team’s assault on the Commonwealth Games.
“We knew it was always going to be tough racing particularly from the strong British and French teams and to be truthful we didn’t know much about the Hungarians,” said Savage.
“As it turned out it came down to the bronze medal between us and Hungary and Dan up against the young Hungarian boy who ran pretty quick.
“Dan has spent a fair block in his altitude tent and was hurting yesterday while Vanek didn’t race and was obviously a lot fresher.
“Sure Dan’s disappointed and is blaming himself but it’s not easy backing up when you’re not feeling right.
“He shouldn’t be too harsh on himself - he has set himself for Glasgow and I’m sure he’ll be just that much fresher in 10 days time.
“There were some encouraging signs and it’s all about sharpening your skills and in these shorter races, any errors compound themselves quite largely.
“And while it’s tough to swallow finishing fourth there were plenty of good teams behind us, including the USA and defending champions Germany.
“Our guys should be proud of themselves – they came together well as a team and performed very well..it was encouraging.”