Green & Gold Rush: Australia claims five gold medals in Napier

26 Feb 2024

Australia painted Napier green and gold as picturesque coastal city in New Zealand put on a spectacular show as a first-time World Triathlon Cup host 

Australian triathletes secured an unprecedented five gold, and two silver, medals across the weekend – sweeping all four individual titles up for grabs on Saturday and taking the win in the World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series event.

An action-packed weekend kicked off with the Oceania Triathlon Junior Championships showcasing the rising stars of Australian triathlon.

Queensland’s Aspen Anderson and Tasmania’s Jack Woodberry stole the show, crossing the finish line following dominating performances, initiating a thrilling Australian gold rush.

Isla Watson added to the medal count, finishing second in the women’s competition behind fellow Queenslander, Anderson.

Sophie Linn then stepped up to make history in the elite women’s race by securing her first-ever World Triathlon Cup victory.

Her stellar performance unfolded under the Kiwi sun, with a solid race that had her crossing the finish line ten seconds ahead of the British duo of Sophie Alden and Olivia Mathias.

Linn had never finished higher than fifth at a World Triathlon Cup before today but produced a phenomenal performance to take the tape in New Zealand.

“I definitely couldn’t have started better. It’s really nice to star the year out on a high note and go into the year with a bit of confidence.” Linn said.

The win futher positioning Linn as a serious candidate for a spot on the Australian team in Paris.

“It feels amazing to come out in an Olympic year and get my first win at a World Cup, I couldn’t have asked for a better start.”

It was then Callum McClusky’s turn to secure his first-ever World Triathlon Cup win, keeping his cool to hold off heavy favourite and Olympic bronze medalist, Hayden Wilde.

Facing stiff competition from the hometown hero, McClusky held his ground to take the tape.

“It’s amazing, it’s seven years since my first World Cup and it’s taken me seven years to get on the podium,” McClusky said.

“It’s been a lot of hard work with my team and we’ve had to work really hard to get here.”

For McClusky, the win will go a long way in his bid for selection to Australia’s Olympic team alongside Matt Hauser in Paris.

“I don’t really like to say that and  jinx myself. But with that performance there, it show maybe I can qualify for the Olympics for Australia,” he said.

Team Australia was back on the podium the following day, securing silver in the Oceania Triathlon Junior Mixed Relay Championships, and gold in the 2024 World Triathlon Mixed Relay Series Napier.

The team of Jack Latham, Aspen Anderson, Jack Woodberry, and Isla Watson took second place in the junior event medal, finishing closely behind New Zealand.

While the quartet of Callum McClusky, Emma Jeffcoat, Brandon Copeland, and Sophie Linn securing another glorious victory for the green and gold.

After a back and fourth race, it was Sophie Linn who anchored the Aussies, taking the tape for the second time in the weekend and securing Australia’s first Mixed Team Relay win since 2019.

“These guys set it up for me, for the perfect day. The race blew apart, but they put it back and set it up for me to be in the perfect position.” Linn said, after crossing the finish line.

“I couldn’t ask for more from my teammates, more from the crowds, they were all fantastic.”

Following the race, McClusky said he couldn’t have wished for a better weekend.

“It’s been a dream weekend for Team Australia. Sophie and me taking gold yesterday and then with the team today. It couldn’t have gone any better.”

Also delighted was Emma Jeffcoat, back on a podium after a rough 12 months with injuries.

“That was terrific. It’s been a long time since I have been in a relay team so to stand alongside these three is an honour and to be back wearing the green and gold, I am stoked,” Jeffcoat said.

Brandon Copeland, who finished eighth in the individual race, expressed elation at Australia’s triumphant return to the top step.

“That was unreal. Racing in New Zealand feels like home for us. These guys all did their job so well, I am so privileged to be part of Team Australia. It’s been a rough couple of years but hopefully we’re starting 2024 with a bang.” Copeland said.

World Triathlon Cup Napier – Elite Women

1. Sophie Linn
14. Emma Jeffcoat
28. Ellie Hoitnk
31. Natalie Van Coevorden

Oceania Triathlon Junior Championships – Junior Women

1. Aspen Anderson
2. Isla Watson
4. Grace Henry
6. Gwen Watson
7. Abbey Hickey

Full Results


World Triathlon Cup Napier – Elite Men

1. Callum McClusky
8. Brandon Copeland
25. Luke Willian
30. Lachlan Jones

Oceania Triathlon Junior Championships – Junior Men

1. Jack Woodberry
4. Jack Latham
5. Christopher Rudd
6. Bowan Bamford
7. Joel Humphrey

Full Results

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