Why it matters: Australia's Elite triathlon team is prepping for the first ever World Triathlon Super-Sprint World Championships in Hamburg, setting the pace for an intense competition that also plays a role in the Olympic qualification process for Paris 2024.
Setting the pace: The Australian team, made up of nine athletes including Olympians Matt Hauser, Jake Birtwhistle, Jaz Hedgeland, and Emma Jackson, will face a tough competition in the German round of the World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS). The men's Super-Sprint qualifiers will feature Hauser, Birtwhistle, Brandon Copeland, and Callum McClusky, while the women's qualifiers will showcase Hedgeland, Jackson, Natalie Van Coevorden, Kira Hedgeland, and Sophie Linn.
What they're saying:
- "This year will be no different, I know I'm in good shape and the Super-Sprint format will certainly get the crowd even more amped," said Matt Hauser.
- "My goals for the weekend are to be in that final and to survive as long as I can," stated Sophie Linn.
- "Being heats and finals over a very short distance it's important to get all the little things right too - swim start, transitions and the final part of the run execution," highlighted coach Dan Atkins.
By the numbers:
- The World Super-Sprint races will consist of a 300m swim, a three-lap 7.5km bike course, and a two-lap 1.6km run.
- The fastest 30 men and 30 women will make it to Saturday’s three-stage finals.
- In the end, only ten athletes will compete for the first Super-Sprint World Titles and crucial Series and Olympic points.
Between transition: The athletes will face a series of intense races, each carrying crucial weight for their chances in the Super-Sprint World Championships, the Mixed Team Relay, and the Olympic qualification.
Through Time: Last year, Hauser was second in Hamburg, while Australia finished second in the relay. Both these performances have set high expectations for this year's race.
The bottom line: Australia's Elite triathlon team, lead by strong Olympian athletes, is set to take on the World Triathlon Super-Sprint Championships in Hamburg. With multiple stakes at play, including Olympic qualifications, this competition is a critical benchmark for the athletes and a key indicator of the team's strength and readiness for upcoming challenges.