2018 Commonwealth Games Team: Matt Hauser
History will be made in April when more than 6600 athletes and team officials from 70 Commonwealth nations and territories descend on the Gold Coast to compete in and celebrate sport during the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018). Among the athletes competing, Australia has a strong triathlon contingency ready to mix it up with the very best. We take a closer look at the Aussie triathletes, who will proudly wear the green and gold, and stand on the start line of what is set to be a fast and furious event. Meet Matt Hauser.
Date of birth: 03/04/1998
Born/Live: Born Hervey Bay, Live Gold Coast
Best performances/career highlights:
2017 Junior World Champion, 2017 Mixed Teams Relay World Champion, 2017 Chengdu World Cup Champion
Strengths: Short distance racing, swim/run disciplines
Something we don’t know about you: I’m a massive cricket fan and collector of 60s/70s vinyl.
What did it mean for you to be selected for the Commonwealth
Games team? Where were you when you got the call? What was your reaction?
To be selected for the Commonwealth Games team is such an honour. I knew it was going to be tight, as it was a discretionary-based selection, so once I got the call at my house on the Gold Coast there was a massive wave of relief but also motivational excitement. It was a feeling of: “Right let’s do this.”
What are your expectations of the Commonwealth Games as an event?
From what I’ve heard, the main stadium and athlete village have been tirelessly worked on and it’s going to be something of epic proportions for the Gold Coast and the rest of the world to marvel at. I’ve had the opportunity to race a very similar course to that of the Commonwealth Games previously. I think it’s going to be packed with spectators all along the Broadwater; the grandstands will be electric down the finishing shoot and through the triathlon’s transition.
Tell me about the importance of racing in front of an Australian crowd?
It’s going to be massive. A number of family and friends have bought tickets and are going to be cheering my every stride across the finish line. Support like that you can’t get anywhere else in the world. I think it’s going to bring out another level of competition from us, Aussies.
What are your expectations for the race over the Sprint format?
I’m expecting the field to be very close. I much prefer the shorter distance racing and know from experience that I’ve got speed to showcase. It’s the first time a major Games has been a Sprint distance, so it will change the dynamics of the race – strong forces like the Brownlee’s may not have the same luxury for a breakaway opportunity.
Does the course/format suit your strengths?
The course is very fast and furious, not presenting a lot of opportunities to get ahead of the main bunch. The Sprint distance format suits me as I prefer the shorter distances and I thrive on the fearless, head down type of races.
Given the smaller field and the absence of non-Commonwealth Games athletes, how do you see the race playing out differently to a normal WTS or ITU race?
It will offer up different dynamics because of the fact that there isn’t the European swim/bike calibre of athletes. The smaller field may present a challenge for athletes to get away.
With the importance of peaking for “one day” in April, what is your preparation for this event?
At this stage, I’m still in a block-training phase and will fine-tune my training when the event nears. I’ll need to prepare by doing a few races including the Mooloolaba World Cup and mixed team relay events to get back into the racing mindset.
How has it changed from your normal early season preparation? What training have you been focusing on specifically?
Normally I’m focusing on events later on in the year, such as the World Championships in September, so I guess the latter part of 2017 was more of a change in the sense that I have to peak several months earlier in 2018.
Are you looking forward to the Mixed Relay? What is special about this event?
I’m a massive fan of the Mixed Team Relay, being a member of the current World Championship team. The excitement of the event is like none other and provides spectators with a next level entertainment factor. The emotions of the event, especially for the competitors racing, are exhilarating. The Mixed Team Relay provides Team Australia with another opportunity to clinch a medal and I believe we are a strong chance to take the top step.
Lead Image: ITU Media / Wagner Araujo