COVID-hit triathlete Hauser qualifies for Olympics

Steve LarkinAAP
Matt Hauser is set to compete at a second Olympics after earning a spot for Paris 2024. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)
Camera IconMatt Hauser is set to compete at a second Olympics after earning a spot for Paris 2024. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS) Credit: AAP

Weeks after being floored by COVID, Australian triathlete Matt Hauser has left his coach in awe with a gutsy performance to qualify for next year's Paris Olympics.

Hauser finished eighth at the World Triathlon Championship Series grand final in Pontevedra, Spain, to secure his spot at a second Olympics.

Last month, the 24-year-old was forced out of the Paris Olympic test event after contracting COVID.

"Considering the dogged past month, I knew I had to execute everything to perfection out there," Hauser said.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


"It has taken up until this past week to string a couple of decent (training) sessions together so it could be a 'just in the nick of time' scenario.

"This one meant so much ... after missing the Paris test event I wanted to give us all some reward for what has been a long season.

"Paris 2024, here we come."

Hauser's achievement stunned his coach Dan Atkins.

"I just don't know how he does it, I really don't," Atkins said.

Atkins described Hauser's opening leg, a career-best 1.5km swim, as the most impressive feat the athlete has produced.

After leading the field from the water, Hauser held steady during a survival of the toughest on the bike and run.

"The last three weeks have been rough for Matt," Atkins said.

"We tried a lot of different strategies to help him get over COVID but not a lot seemed to work.

"So pretty much everything was aerobic-based to try and give Matt every possible chance of racing.

"His swim was the most impressive thing I've seen Matt do. I still shake my head at his overall commitment to that race."

Hauser will become the ninth Australian triathlete to compete at two Olympic Games - Emma Moffatt and Erin Densham (2008, 2012, 2016) hold the national record with three Games.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails