Australian roommates clinch Olympic dream with WTCS Yokohama podium finish

The first World Triathlon Championship Series race of the season did not disappoint last weekend, as WTCS Yokohama delivered across the board on Saturday.

The men’s race, which saw Morgan Pearson take a maiden WTCS win, was full of drama, as Australian Luke Willian clinched his Olympic berth in Paris with a fine third place finish.

To make it even more special, Willian finished on the podium alongside Matt Hauser, his fellow countryman, with the pair revealing post-race that they’d been roommates at countless races on the road to Paris.

“I’m really proud of myself”

For Hauser, a strong second place finish in the first major race of the season is a good indicator of where his form lies, as the Australian looks to deliver on his gold medal potential this summer.

Matt Hauser finishes second behind Morgan Pearson at WTCS Yokohama.
[Photo Credit – Tommy Zaferes]

After a crash knocked out several athletes in the front pack towards the end of the bike, Hauser rued the cruel nature of sport, but underlined his happiness with how he performed in Japan.

“I made a point of staying up front towards the back end and it ended up paying off, I hope that everyone is okay from the bikes crash.

“There is so much on the line and there is so much at stake, Olympic spots are on the line and people’s dreams are on the line, it’s tough when things like that happen but days like these for me make it all worthwhile.

“I’m really proud of myself, over the last couple of years, coming up through juniors and U23’s I really struggled with consistency, so it’s great to have these results and it’s a credit to my support team and everyone back home.”

Crediting his teammate for his first podium, Hauser said nobody deserved it more than Willian, with the pair seen celebrating jubilantly together at the finish line.

Luke Willian and Matt Hauser embrace after WTCS Yokohama podium.
[Photo Credit – Tommy Zaferes]

“Can I just say, my mate Luke has been my roommate for years on the WTCS circuit, and he deserves it more than anyone to book a spot for Paris and I can’t believe it.” 

“I am a bit speechless right now”

Sharing how much the result meant to him in his post-race interview, Willian said it was made even sweeter by securing his Paris berth, having missed out on the Tokyo team three years ago.

Luke Willian finishes third at WTCS Yokohama in Japan.
[Photo Credit – Tommy Zaferes]

“I am a bit speechless right now. I missed out last time, I was so close and missed out on a discretionary selection, so this whole journey has been all about taking my opportunities and creating my own destiny and to do that is pretty special.

“It was quite stressful the whole race to be honest. On the last lap of the bike, I got caught up in a big crash, so had to dig deep to ride back over with a couple of the other boys, and then I just took it out to see how it felt.

“On the last lap, my legs started to cramp, but I really wanted that podium, I didn’t want to just qualify, I wanted to compete and strive to be my best and it is pretty special that the guy in front of me is another Aussie and my roommate.” 

Related Articles

Back to top button