Battle for Bronze As England Runs Away With Mixed Relay Tri Gold

Posted on August 1, 2022 by

Hopes of successfully defending the Australian Commonwealth championship title in the triathlon mixed team event were quickly dashed when the English team demonstrated total dominance from start to finish.

On Sunday 31 July 2022 and day three of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Australian triathlon mixed team set out to defend their championship title after clutching Gold Coast victory four years ago, however, when England ran away with the gold a battle for second place ensued.

NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder Natalie Van Coevorden joined forces with Sophie Linn, and Jacob Birtwhistle and Matthew Hauser of the gold medal-winning 2018 Commonwealth Games team, to race the Birmingham mixed relay.

Birtwhistle lead the Aussies out fresh off a narrow podium miss in the men’s individual sprint distance, to position the team in the top three.

Sixth out of the water (+0.11) and among the second chase pack on the bike, it was a strong run leg that saw Birtwhistle able to make his move. His powerful run was still no match for England’s Alex Yee who had stretched a lead of twenty seconds.

Handing over to NSWIS’ Natalie Van Coevorden, she was the first of Australia’s two women to hit the water. Working to her strengths, she tried to push out past New Zealand’s Nicole Van Der Kaay in the 300m swim but was quickly caught out of transition into the 5km bike. Meanwhile, the English continued to grow their lead with Sophie Coldwell’s stellar performance (+0.36).

Scotland, Wales and New Zealand who moved up to challenge Australia’s leading position, managed to pull away over the 2.1km run and lead Hauser into his relay leg with some serious work to do and time to claw back to keep the Aussies in contention.

Hauser, backing up from his individual Birmingham bronze medal performance, did not disappoint. Clawing back valuable seconds across each component of the relay, he set teammate Sophie Linn up for the best possible chance at a medal finish.

Tagging in Linn to anchor for the Australian team and complete the Sutton Park course, it was England’s Georgia Taylor-Brown who had the advantage and a one-minute lead on her chasers as she entered the final run leg of the relay.

Linn, who had an incredibly fast run in her individual sprint distance, took out fast from the transition but Wales’ Standford kept with her running shoulder to shoulder.

Heading into the last turn it was Stanford who turned up the pace, sprinting away to clutch silver for the Welsh team and leaving Australia to settle for bronze.

The most phonetic, fastest form of the triathlon events at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was taken by the dominant performance of the home team, in front of an ecstatic crowd. The fast favourites earning gold on home soil in 1:16:14, with the Welsh behind them (+0.46) and Australia rounding out the podium in third (+0.49).

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