DREAM REALISED: Matthew Hauser will compete at the Commonwealth Games.
DREAM REALISED: Matthew Hauser will compete at the Commonwealth Games. Jerad Williams

Hauser set to go for Games gold

VICKI Hauser and iconic triathlon coach Brian Harrington were in a car bound for the Gold Coast on Sunday when Vicki's phone buzzed.

The message, a simple winking emoji sent by her son Matthew, confirmed their wildest dream: Matthew Hauser will represent Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"It was a whole mixture of emotions,” she recalled. "But we're so proud and excited for him.”

The Gold Coast-based triathlete was one of the first six representatives named by Triathlon Australia at a media conference at Southport yesterday.

The announcement caps a dream year for Hauser. He was part of the history-making mixed relay team which triumphed at a World Triathlon Series event in Hamburg, Germany, in July.

The team of Hauser, Charlotte McShane, Ashleigh Gentle and Tasmanian Jake Birtwhistle became the first Australian team to win a world mixed relay gold medal.

He blitzed the junior men's field at the 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final to become the Junior World Champion in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in September.

"I'm extremely happy,” Mr Harrington, Hauser's long-time coach, said.

Harrington coached Hauser when the talented Hervey Bay sportsman was just 12-years-old.

"I basically had him from when he was 12 until he was 17,” Mr Harrington said. "It's so exciting. After the year he had, there was no way they could say no to him.”

In his mind, it was a 50-50 chance, and it was not until Triathlon Australia National Performance Director Justin Drew's phone number flashed on his phone about midday on Sunday, November 12, that he knew he was assured a place at the Gold Coast event.

"It could've gone either way, but just a rush of relief when Justin, our performance manager said 'you're in',” Hauser said.

Hauser's world championship-winning mixed relay teammates, along with Luke Willian and Gillian Backhouse, were unveiled as Australia's first six triathlon representatives.

More on page 58.



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