Hauser and Hoitink take Oceania Triathlon Championship titles in Taupo

14 Apr 2024

Photo Credit: Simon Dawson

Matt Hauser set the tone for his Olympic year, while Ellie Hoitink proved her mettle as a rising star of the sport, both taking the Oceania Triathlon Championship titles in Taupo, New Zealand.

The cancellation of the World Triathlon Championship Series opener in Abu Dhabi saw Hauser kick his Olympic year off in Taupo.

And Australia’s top-ranked triathlete couldn’t have asked for a better start, sealing the win ahead of Kiwi Tayler Reid and Australian teammate Brandon Copeland.

“For me it’s all about just getting back into the groove of racing and learning how to hurt myself again,” Hauser said.

“It’s been a long period off racing, my last race was Noosa last year In November, so just to get the cogs turning again, I loved it out there and can’t wait for the next one.”

It was Hauser and Reid, along with Brayden Mercer (AUS), who set a blistering pace during the swim in the windswept waters of Lake Taupo, forming a breakaway group of eight on the bike which included Copeland, Jack Crome (AUS), Oscar Dart (AUS), David Martin (CZE), and Saxon Morgan (NZL).

The decisive move came on the third lap of the 10km run, where Hauser surged ahead, crossing the line in a time of 1:47:20, 29 seconds clear of Reid.

The 26-year-old’s focus now shifts to the highly anticipated World Triathlon Cup Wollongong, where he’ll spearhead the fifteen-strong Australian team.

“I’m so looking forward to racing Wollongong, the last time I raced there was in 2016 as a junior. I can’t wait to be back there and race next year’s World Championships course. It’s going to be super exciting for Australia.”

Joining the lineup in Wollongong is Hoitink, who’ll head into next weekend’s World Triathlon Cup in fine form after also taking the tape in Taupo.

Tara Sosinski (AUS) emerged as the leader out of the water, while Hoitink found herself among a pack of athletes, including Australian Olympic hopefuls Natalie Van Coevorden and Jaz Hedgeland.

During the bike leg, the field initially fragmented, but most competitors regrouped as they settled into the course. Athletes like Sosinski and Van Coevorden maintained positions at the front, with others like Brea Roderick (NZL) and Chloe Bateup (AUS) closing small gaps incurred during the swim.

Among the lead group, Richelle Hill (AUS) quietly asserted herself. Despite lacking experience in Oceania Championships and having not raced internationally since 2019 before her comeback in 2024, Hill remained composed and focused.

As the run began, Hill found herself trailing only behind Hoitink and Ainsley Thorpe (NZL), who had taken an early lead.

It was during the run that Hoitink putting her foot down, deliver a blistering 35:35 split, the fastest of the day, ultimately crossing the finish line in a time of 2:03:33.

The victory caps off a strong continental season for the 23-year-old, following her impressive fourth-place finish at the 2024 Oceania Triathlon Sprint Championships in Devonport

“My major goal was to race with courage and I’m thrilled to come away with the win,”  Hoitink said.

“We’re just going to continue to race, continue to grow, and we’ll see what happens.”

Hoitink secured the win, finishing ahead of Hill and Thorpe.

Hill’s second place finish in Taupo marks a step towards a spot at the Under 23 World Championships in Torremolinos-Andalucia, Spain.

Hill now faces the challenge of securing a top-15 finish at a World Triathlon Cup before the performance period ends on August 18 to secure an automatic nomination to the Australian team.

To view full Oceania Triathlon Championships Taupo results, click here.
To view the AusTriathlon Under 23 World Championships Selection Policy, click here.

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