Super League Stars Align at the Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games saw some of the Super League Triathlon speedsters on the attack in search of medals last week.
Across the board, the Commonwealth Games is seen as a somewhat a lite version of the Olympic Games. But, in the world of triathlon, the Commonwealth Games is every bit of the usual chaos and speed of a World Class race. There is nothing lite about it and those who showed for the 2018 event would readily agree to that logic.
The men’s race featured the cream of the Commonwealth and and also the SLT. Names like Brownlee, Scissions, Schoeman and Birtwhistle lined up for the sprint race which no doubt would have favoured those who excel in the Super League multi channel formats. And the race threw up a few surprises with the normally menacing Brownlee tandem not throwing a punch while the local pairing of Jacob Birtwhistle and Matt Hauser went big on home soil. However it was Henri Schoeman who held his nerve, form and speed over the short sharp course to win the day and take home gold ahead of Birtwhistle. Hauser had a top 4 finish with SLT favourite Richard Murray in 6th and Brownlees in 7th and 10th.
The women’s side of the racing ledger saw a few surprises on the podium but none on the top as ITU supremo Flora Duffy swept the field. Behind her though, a great athletic fight was put up from the field including a raft of SLT women. The best of the rest was Sophie Caldwell who came in 6th just ahead of Non Stanford (8th). Charlotte McShane was 11th across the line and Desirae Ridenour get herself inside the top 20.
The Mixed Relay has a little bit of a Super League feel about it. The athletes make multiple circuits of a small course, the crowd gets thoroughly entertained and the pace of the event is hyped and super quick. It’s not surprising then that Super League’s resident speedster Jacob Birtwhistle anchored an Australian team that was all conquering and showed the way for the rest of the Commonwealth in this newly minted event. The mixed relay offers triathletes another medal in major events and gives the sport another platform. Joining Birtwhistle in his gold medal rout was another SLT racer in Matt Hauser. Hauser was instrumental in the set up of the win going head to head with fellow SLT alum Johnny Brownlee. A rare win over a Brownlee was something to savour. For Birtwhistle, the seeming heir apparent to a World Title, his 40 second gap to Alistair Brownlee in the final leg was enough to have the finish line all to himself and the victory.