'No pressure' with 40 days until Games
WORLD junior champion triathlete Matt Hauser will compete for the first time in five months tomorrow as pressure mounts with only 40 days left to go until his Commonwealth Games debut.
The Hervey Bay product has not raced since the Super League Triathlon at Jersey, United Kingdom, in late September, and the Gold Coast Triathlon shapes as one of only two chances he has to find form.
He was forced to deal with a niggling leg injury which handicapped his best leg, the run, and spent three weeks alongside his Gold Coast 2018 teammates at the Australian Institute of Sport for altitude training.
The 19-year-old will treat the event as his first step towards the Commonwealth Games, but he said he is not feeling any pressure.
"The Games are around the corner so hopefully I can put in a good performance,” Hauser said.
"I've had a few niggles which affected my run but I'm hitting some good times in training at the moment.
"It was a little issue in my legs as I came back from the Super League. It had me out (of action) a little but I had a massive support crew and the Queensland Academy of Sport really helped me out.”
Hauser, who relocated to the Gold Coast two years ago, did not elaborate on the specifics of the injury.
He is one of the young guns on the triathlon team.
His world championship triumph in September at Rotterdam, the Netherlands, capped what was a breakthrough year for the former four-time School Sport Australia triathlon champion.
In July, he made history alongside Commonwealth Games teammates Charlotte McShane, Ashleigh Gentle and Jake Birtwhistle as they became the first Australians to win a World Mixed Relay gold medal at Hamburg.
He is a four-time Oceania Champion and two-time Australian Junior Triathlon Series points champion, and in early 2017 won gold in his debut ITU World Cup race.
But while the countdown continues to the biggest moment of his career - when he gets to wear the green and gold at a home Games - Hauser said he wasn't getting carried away.
"When you put it into days, hours and minutes it starts to get a bit daunting, but I think I've done well to put it all aside,” he said.
"I'm motivated to get the body back to peak fitness and that's taking my time.
"When it comes around to the day I'm sure the heart rate will be up.”
The next step in Hauser's preparation will come at the Mooloolaba ITU World Cup race on March 10, when English medal hopes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee will head a world-class field.