Hauser on right track for Gold Coast Games debut
HE THREATENED Gold Coast Commonwealth Games medal favourite Richard Murray to the finish line but Matt Hauser believes there is still plenty of room to improve before the biggest race of his young career.
Hauser finished just four seconds behind South African winner Murray in a performance that put to rest any concerns over his recent leg injury, as the countdown to his Games debut ticked under four weeks.
It was the first time Hauser competed in a triathlon since Super League Jersey on September 24, 2017. He was set for last week's Gold Coast Triathlon but poor water quality forced the cancellation of the swim leg, and the race changed to a duathlon.
The former Hervey Bay junior told the Chronicle the result was a major boost to his confidence.
"Oh it's massive. The Luke Harrop was a good stepping stone for my run, but I really executed the run leg,” he said.
"It felt awesome.
"Everything went to plan even though it was my first year running this course.”
Choppy conditions in the swim made for a tricky start to the World Cup race, but Hauser overcame the heavy wind to produce top splits in the swim and bike legs.
"I sat on the bike, but Murray took off as soon we finished the bike,” Hauser said.
Hauser pursued in what was a cat-and-mouse, 5km run.
He inched closer on the uphill stages but watched the South African pull away on the downhill sections.
"I got to about 5m from him at one stage and he was keeping an eye on me on the downhill,” the reigning world junior champion said.
Hauser will next line up at Triathlon Australia's Mixed Relay Invitational at Runaway Bay this weekend, in what is another vital step in his preparation.
He said he still had plenty to work on before the Games, most notably the run.
"There's always things to work on but I'm really happy with how it went,” he said.
"There's more to go on the run but my swim and bike have been strong in the summer.
"Mooloolaba was a great event against that competition and it was a great confidence booster, but it will all come to down to that 50 minutes in April.”
He will hit the Games track on April 5, and could line up alongside Jake Birtwhistle, Charlotte McShane and Ashleigh Gentle in the mixed relay event on April 7.