Olympic team set sights on Paris with final Hamburg hit-out

11 Jul 2024

If the Paris Olympic triathlon promises to be the pinnacle event on the 2024 calendar, then the World Triathlon Championship Series Hamburg stands as a worthy prelude.

Famous for its breath-taking course that weaves through the heart of the city, showcasing its famed cobblestoned streets and attracting big crowds – the ultimate dress rehearsal for Australia’s Olympic triathlon team.

The Paris-bound quartet – Matt Hauser, Luke Willian, Natalie Van Coevorden, and Sophie Linn – who combined in Hamburg in 2022 to take silver in the World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series, are all set to compete in the individual races, marking their final hit out with the Games just over two weeks away.

The four will unite for the first time since the Australian Olympic Committees team announcement last month, joined by Brandon Copeland and Ellie Hoitink – Australia’s first reserves for the Games.

Australia’s top ranked triathlete, Hauser, first competed in Hamburg as a fresh-faced teenager in 2017, taking out the mixed relay world title alongside Jake Birtwhistle, Ashleigh Gentle and Charlotte McShane.

He claimed his first World Triathlon Championship Series podium there with silver in 2022 and secured a second the following day’s mixed relay together with Paris 2024 teammates.

“It’s such an iconic city. And I’ve got so many great memories there,” Hauser said.

“It was my first experience of European racing and being in a European city. The cobbled streets and the architecture, it was quite eye-opening for a young boy from Hervey Bay.”

Eager to balance his preparation for the Games with enjoying the process, Hauser emphasised the role Hamburg will play in his, and his Olympic teammates, journey to Paris.

“It will make up a good part of my Paris prep,” Hauser said.

“I don’t want to be too single minded or focused on Paris. I think it’s a good way of breaking up my preparation. It will be good fun.

“I want a solid hit-out. It will just be good to get those competitive juices flowing again.

“I want to hit a really good five-kilometre time and hopefully get on the podium again – that would be great to get an Erdinger glass in my hand once again and spray some beer.

“It will also be great to connect as a team.

“Being amongst three debutants at an Olympic Games, I think there will be a lot of energy around the camp.

“So often with these Olympic campaigns we get so caught up in the end result, but I just want to really enjoy the whole process.

“Hopefully it will be a great campaign for them. Being my second time around I’ve got a bit of experience from Tokyo and will be looking to share that with them.

“It going to be super special to get to share the next couple of weeks with those guys.”

This weekend’s race marks the mid-way point of the World Triathlon Championship Series with the world title race set to heat up in Hamburg.

For the first time in his career, 27-year-old Willian will wear the converted number one in a World Triathlon Championship Series race. His bronze in Yokohama, coupled with an eighth-place finish in Cagliari sees him head to Hamburg top of the rankings that decide the World Champion come seasons end.

“You dream about going into Hamburg with the number one, one of the biggest races on the calendar,” Willian said.

“The last Australian to do it was Emma Moffatt in 2012, so it’s been a while.

“At the start of the year, to be leading it would have never crossed my mind. Leading into Hamburg there are only a few races left, so it’s something to look forward to after the Olympics.” 

Hauser, who sits tenth after sharing the podium with Willian in Yokohama, applauded his teammates strong start to the season, underscoring their shared pursuit of the world title.

“Credit to him, he’s worked hard for what he’s got. It will be amazing to see how he goes. It will be great preparation for both of us leading into what could be a special Paris campaign,” Hauser said.

“It was epic to share the podium with him in Yokohama. To share the podium in Hamburg would be pretty cool as well.”

“Paris is front and centre and the focus. But the world title is certainly always in the back of my mind.

“There’s a long way to go from now until then. I’ve started off the season really well. Hamburg should be another good one to get a solid result. If I’m up there at the end of the year, bonus – absolute bonus.”

Hamburg will also host the 2024 World Triathlon Mixed Relay Championships, with Australia looking to get back on the podium for the first time since 2019.

Callum McClusky and Charlotte McShane will make up half of the Australian team with the other two team members to be decided after the individual events.

Since its introduction back in 2009, Australia has secured six Mixed Relay World Championship medals – including gold in 2017.


WTCS Hamburg – Elite Men
Saturday, July 13 – 9:35pm AEST

Luke Willian
Matt Hauser
Brandon Copeland

Full Start List

WTCS Hamburg – Elite Women
Saturday, July 13 – 11:40pm AEST

Sophie Linn
Natalie Van Coevorden
Ellie Hoitink 

Full Start List

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