Australia’s Olympic triathlon team selected for Paris 2024

20 Jun 2024

Matt Hauser, Luke Willian, Natalie Van Coevorden and Sophie Linn will represent Australia at Paris 2024, with the quartet selected today by the Australian Olympic Committee. 

Twenty-six-year-old Hauser becomes the fifth Australian man to contest the triathlon at two Olympics, while Willian, Van Coevorden and Linn all make their Olympic debut. 

Hauser, Willian and Van Coevorden are currently training in Spain ahead of the Games while Linn is in her Colorado training base. 

Today’s announcement takes the selected Australian Olympic Team size to 203 for an expected 460-strong team for Paris. 

Australia’s triathletes will each contest the individual event and combine for the mixed team relay.  

Hauser sits fourth and Willian 13th in world rankings, finishing second and third respectively at the World Triathlon Championship Series in Yokohama last month. 

The four athletes have already tasted international success as a team, combining to win mixed relay silver at the World Triathlon Championship Series Hamburg in 2022. 

Chef de Mission Anna Meares welcomed the four athletes to the Australian Olympic Team for Paris. 

“Congratulations Matt, Natalie, Luke and Sophie on your selection to the Australian Olympic Team,” Ms Meares said. 

“I know the team are currently deep in preparation for the Games, training hard in Europe and North America. While they may be away from home, each of them will be feeling the joy and support of their families, friends and the triathlon community who are rightfully celebrating their Olympic achievement today. 

“With only 36 days until the cauldron is lit in Paris, I am thrilled to see today’s announcement take the Australian Team size past 200 – with more than 250 more athletes set to be announced in the coming weeks to chase their Olympic dream in Paris.” 

Linn, who once doubted she’d ever make it to the Games, said it’s a privilege to represent Australia in Paris. 

“There was a period of time where I didn’t think the Olympics was ever on the cards.” Linn said. 

“It was only two years ago when I qualified for the Commonwealth Games that it became more of a realistic goal. To be able to build on that experience and head to my first Olympics feels amazing. It’s a privilege to be here. 

“It means a lot for everyone on that start line. To not only be able to represent yourself but all your family and friends who have helped you get there is an honour.” 

Fresh out of a gruelling swim session, Van Coevorden was overcome with emotion upon receiving the news of her selection over the phone. 

“When I got the good news I just burst into tears,” Van Coevorden said. 

“I said ‘Thank you so much, I’m really grateful for this opportunity and I’m going to grasp it with everything I’ve got for myself and the other three people on this team’.  

“I was just so excited and grateful to have my partner and one of my best friends there to share that moment. All of us were in tears to be honest. 

“Shortly after I called my parents. They’ve been part of the journey since I was a young kid. They took me to swimming when I was young at five o’clock in the morning. 

“They gave me everything when I was young to be the best athlete I could. It’s great to share this moment with so many people in my life.” 

After earning an automatic nomination at last month’s World Triathlon Championship Series in Yokohama, Willian shared his excitement at making his selection official. 

“I’m absolutely stoked,” Willian said.  

“After missing out in 2021, this has been the goal for the past three years – to qualify for Paris. To be able to do that, and to officially be selected just feels amazing. 

“There are only around 460 Australians selected for these Olympics, and I believe it’s about the same every year, so, I’m in very special company. To have my name among some of the greats is pretty special.” 

Set for his Olympic appearance in Paris, Hauser shared his pride in being selected to compete for Australia once again. 

“It feels amazing to get my Qantas boarding pass and be on the plane to Paris,” Hauser said.  

“To finally get my name stamped for a second time around is very exciting. 

“There’s certainly a rush of adrenaline like no other standing on the start line (of an Olympic Games) with the other world’s best, knowing that each and every one of you is going to climb mountains to get a personal best or win a medal. 

“It’s a feeling that is certainly earned, and I really do believe I’ve earned that.” 

AusTriathlon CEO Tim Harradine congratulated the athletes on their selection. 

“This is a historic moment for Australian triathlon as we celebrate Matt, Luke, Natalie and Sophie’s selection for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,” Harradine said. 

“Congratulations, Matt, on your second Olympic selection. And to Luke, Natalie and Sophie on the realisation of a lifelong dream. Only 25 Australians have ever worn the green and gold triathlon suit at the Olympics, and your selection for the Paris 2024 Games places you in an exclusive group.  

“Behind every athlete’s success stands dedicated coaches who have nurtured their talents and supported them every step of the way. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Dan Atkins, Warwick Dalziel, and Danielle Stefano for their guidance. 

“We also recognise the invaluable support of the athletes’ families whose love, sacrifice, belief have been instrumental in their journeys to the Olympic Games. To the parents, siblings, partners, and extended family members, your support has been a cornerstone of their success. 

“As a sport and as a nation, we are incredibly fortunate to have these four exceptional athletes representing us in Paris.” 

The triathlon events will be held on 30 July (men) and 31 July (women) and 5 August (Mixed Relay). The start and finish line of the triathlon events will be at Pont Alexandre III. The Pont Alexandre III, a 45-metre metal bridge, has a single 107-metre arch and three hinges, enabling it to span the Seine in a single unbroken curve. 

The course will see athletes competing against the backdrop of symbolic landmarks such as the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower. 

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