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Silver lining for Aussies in mixed teams triathlon

The Australian outfit racing the mixed teams relay in Hamburg.
The Australian outfit racing the mixed teams relay in Hamburg.

THEY won the World Cup and now the French have also beaten Australia to the punch to claim the world title in the new Olympic mixed team's triathlon event .

Australian racers failed to make the podium in either the elite men's or women's sprint events at the Hamburg world series but managed to pip the US for silver in the team's relay championship.

The event, which Australia won last year, is set to make its Olympic debut at the Tokyo 2020 Games.

Tasmanian Jake Birtwhistle saved the day in the teams race to secure Australia the silver.

 

Birtwhistle, who also won silver at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, came from 30 seconds down to outsprint American Kevin McDowell and anchor Australia to its second place, 40 seconds behind convincing winners France.

"It was a tough finish," Birtwhistle said. "I really didn't have much of an idea how far McDowell was ahead.

"But when I could see he was starting to struggle I thought 'I'll have a crack here' and I was happy to (just) pip him in the last 100m."

The Australia team was made up of Birtwhistle, Ashleigh Gentle, Natalie Van Coevorden and Aaron Royle.

Van Coevorden was the highest placed Australian in the elite women's sprint race in eighth place and Birtwhistle the best male in fifth.

Topics:  jake birtwhistle triathlon world triathlon series