Matthew Hauser – The Contender!

Matthew Hauser, 21-year old Aussie triathlete, has been a core part of the Super League family from the very start in Hamilton Island in 2017. He has risen through the ranks and proved himself time after time, and now has his sights set on the Super League 2019 Championship Title. However, this didn’t come easy.

2018 was a frustrating year for Hauser as he was recovering from a fractured fifth metacarpal in his right hand and a full reconstruction of his left shoulder. After almost six months of recovery and rehab, he is once again proving that he is a force to be reckoned with. His return began at the Super League Championship Finale in Singapore earlier this year and now continues through the ITU World Triathlon Series.

We catch up with this talented triathlete to talk about the months he spent recovering and how he used that time to fuel his ambitions.

How does it feel to be back winning after such a long lay off?

It’s refreshing you know, I spent so much time on the sidelines looking at everyone’s results and wondering if I could be up there. It is a significant boost to my confidence and a credit to all the behind the scenes work I have done with my team back home on the Gold Coast.

What did you tell yourself as you went through the rehab?

I needed to remind myself to be patient, I had a lot of people in my ear, giving me confidence, and reminding me to follow the journey. The trick with any injury is not to stress too much, don’t try to come back too quickly, and to take your time.

So that is how I attacked it. I’ve always had self-belief and I knew I could get back to my previous level, it was just a matter of getting there as safely as possible, and getting myself right.

Are you an all or nothing person – was it challenging to stay in the mindset of an athlete even though you were not doing the training?

That is a good way of putting it. I think I am a bit all or nothing. When I was sidelined, I was being an average 20-year old, going out, having a few beers with my mates, going to parties, and kind of switching off from triathlon.

For me, the best way to recover physically and mentally was to switch off from triathlon for five or six months and chill out a bit. I did this by embracing some of the experiences I would have previously missed if I didn’t have the injury.

So now you’re back racing up the pointy end – do you feel you’re as good or better than you were before?

I think there are still things to work on for me. The Super League Singapore race weekend was a good test of how I am technically and mentally in a race as there is so much to think about in Super League.

I think physically there are still things to work on, but I am tracking the right way. The time off allowed me to work on some strategies that I wouldn’t have had the chance to reflect on if I hadn’t had the injury.

So you raced in Singapore, finished 13th overall, and spent some time fighting with the leaders. What are your thoughts on Super League?

Super League is the best format of triathlon I have ever raced. Ever since the opening weekend in Hamilton Island, it has exposed me to the next level of racing that you don’t get in ITU or World Series.

It adds another level of mental capacity alongside the physical aspects, especially when you mash up the formats. The Enduro in Singapore was the most taxing triathlon I have ever completed, I went out halfway through the race, but racing like this is changing the way people look at the sport.

So next year you’ll be back to challenge for the Super League crown?

Look, you’re always in it to win it right? You always want to be pushing for that top spot to do your family, friends, and sponsors proud. I’ll do everything I can to try and win that’s for sure.

I’ve got experience now, and that can only grow over the next year or so allowing me to develop as an athlete and as a person. The more exposure I get at this high level of racing the more opportunities I’ll have to push for that top spot.

Seeing people like Vincent, Henri, and Jonny go about their business is very admirable. I look up to those dudes, but I need to push that mindset aside and tell myself, you’re here to win Matt, you’re a contender!

Pay close attention to Hauser’s season as this is one to watch – his ability matches his ambition and he’s here to win!

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