Gold Coast 2018 – BRONZE for Marc Austin!5th Apr 2018 | Written by Gemma Simpson
Marc Austin will go down in history as the first athlete to win a Triathlon medal for Scotland at a Commonwealth Games; and the nation’s first of the Gold Coast 2018 Games after winning bronze in the Men’s Individual event.
After the 2014 Commonwealth Games, we didn’t think that Marc Austin (24, Glasgow) could top his thrilling bike performance with the Brownlee brothers, but top it he did by storming the swim, bike and run to claim BRONZE at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games!
With sea conditions worse than the women’s race experienced earlier in the day (full report here), largely due to strong winds, the typical ‘washing machine’ swim start saw Alistair Brownlee move out quickly into the lead, with Austin keeping tight to his heel over the 750m choppy swim.
Out of the water and Alistair Brownlee continued his lead into T1 ahead of Taylor Reid (NZL), Henri Schoeman (RSA) and Austin in 6th.
A clean transition saw Austin join and keep pace with the front pack of six (Brownlee x 2, Reid, Schoeman, Hauser and Austin), where both Brownlee brothers pushed the pace on the technical 20km course, which was heavily wet from an earlier downpour.
With no signs of fatigue, Austin pushed ahead, taking his turn at the front, not letting the lead out of his sights. The chase pack gap shortened from 20 to 10 seconds heading into lap two, but the group again worked hard to pull forward and increase the gap once more.
“I didn’t know I was going to get it until I was about 10m out from the line. If you’d felt what I was feeling with around 1k to go you’d know I’ve left it all out there.” Marc Austin, Bronze medal winner
With a 26 second lead into T2, the lead six again showed no sign of slowing, and into the run, it was Schoeman out in front, with Alistair Brownlee now off the pace. Austin ran shoulder to shoulder with Jonny Brownlee, and a medal was now within touching distance, but it would require a fight, as Birtwhistle (AUS) put the pedal to the metal, coming from nowhere to pass Brownlee and Austin on the second lap.
With fire in his belly, Austin accelerated to edge past Brownlee, and with Birtwhistle in his sights, as well as the finish, he motored on to hold off a challenge from Brownlee to take BRONZE in 52:44. Schoeman was first in 52:31 and Birtwhistle second in 52:38. Grant Sheldon had a solid swim to come into T1 in 17th, and with a strong run held on to finish in 17th place overall.
Reflecting on his achievement, Marc said:
“In Glasgow I thought I was capable of this but quite quickly showed that I wasn’t quite ready. The last four years have been rocky, but my preparation coming into here has been perfect and I’m glad that I’ve delivered.
“It’s great to be a part of Scotland’s medal roster and to get the first medal for us here at the Games. It’s going to take a while to sink in. I knew I was capable of it, but you’re always scared to think that – it’s way beyond what I’ve done before but I knew I could do it.
“I didn’t know I was going to get it until I was about 10m out from the line. If you’d felt what I was feeling with around 1k to go you’d know I’ve left it all out there. When I saw the blue carpet, I knew I could buckle at any time so to get across is just such a relief.
“Racing with Ali and Johnny is always a privilege and today is the first time I’ve got anywhere near them. You need to race the race on the day and I’m so glad to come away with the medal.
“I just love the sport and the training and even if I’d come away with no medal today I’d still be delighted with my training and my performance. I’ve loved every minute of training for this event. Days like today are so special, but I’m just living the dream at the moment.
I’m looking forward to seeing my mum, dad, brother and cousin who are all out here. I’ll go and catch up with them, I’ve been away for about 8 weeks. Then I’m looking forward to getting back to Scotland and getting some training in at home.”
After the race, Jane Moncrieff, Triathlon Scotland Chief Executive watching back home in Scotland said:
“We are so delighted for Marc for what can only be described as a well executed and gutsy race! Marc is so passionate about racing for Scotland and has now built upon his experience gained in 2014 to show the world his grit and determination once again, to this time convincingly take his place on the Commonwealth Games podium.
“We are all very proud of him and are delighted that Marc’s medal in Triathlon has given Team Scotland their first medal of the Games. I’d like to extend my thanks and congratulations too to everyone who has supported Marc’s journey over the years, and to the Performance Team out in Australia who have kept us up to date with progress and shown great support to all of the athletes.
“With Beth’s superb 12th place in the women’s race, the highest Team Scotland triathlon place, and Grant finishing in 17th, we are now even more excited to watch the action on Saturday with Karen Darke up first in the PTWC event and the Mixed Team relay competition thereafter!”
Potter, Austin and Sheldon will race again at Southport Broadwater Parkland on Saturday 7 at 13:01hrs (04:01hrs UK Time) in the Mixed Relay alongside Erin Wallace, who makes her senior Games debut having won gold for Scotland in the 1500m at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
Full results link
1 Henri Schoeman (South Africa) 52:31
2 Jacob Birtwhistle (Australia) 52:38
3 Marc Austin (Scotland) 52:44
17 Grant Sheldon (Scotland) 55:42