Australia’s leading Elite triathletes came together for the first time since last August’s World Triathlon Grand Final over the weekend, competing at the Gold Coast Triathlon.
The group reunited as they reset and rebuilt on the road to this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Sunday’s Oceania Cup sprint race for males and females over a 750m swim, a 20km bike and a five-kilometre run course was the first of two Commonwealth Games automatic nomination races – with the next being the Yokohama World Triathlon Championship Series (WTCS) in May.
The winners of both the elite male and female races, Australia’s Matt Hauser and US-based Sophie Linn, secured an automatic nomination to Commonwealth Games Australia for the Birmingham team.
NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS) seasoned athletes, Natalie Van Coe Vorden and Charlotte McShane, along with NSWIS rising star Matilda Offord, took to the race vying for the nomination but were upstaged by Linn. Natalie and Charlotte had been front and centre in the Oceania Cup races in Devonport and Mooloolaba this season with Matilda breaking through for her first two career wins in elite company.
22-year-old Matilda started her season in electric form to break through for that first elite win over the sprint distance course in Devonport with Charlotte second. She then went on to topple her NSWIS teammates in the close-finishing standard distance Mooloolaba Oceania Cup race, sending a clear message that she intends to be a serious contender for Commonwealth Games gold.
While the three NSWIS athletes weren’t able to hold off the shock performance of late bloomer Linn – who took the all-important automatic nomination to the CGA for the right to represent Australia in Birmingham in July – Charlotte, a Commonwealth Games representative from 2018, secured a fast-finishing third with Natalie just behind her in fourth and Matilda in sixth.
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Article courtesy of Triathlon Australia, Image courtesy of Chris Con (Triathlon Australia)