Georgia Taylor Brown and Marc Austin won bronze medals for Team GB at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF) in Sydney. The AYOF features 17,000 athletes taking part in seventeen sports over five days.
Australian triathletes claimed gold in both the men’s and women’s races through Jacob Birtwhistle and Jaz Hedgeland, whilst Team GB’s two additional triathletes competing in Sydney, Gordon Benson and Sophie Coldwell, finished in 13th and eighth place overall in their respective races.
Taylor Brown, 18, the reigning European Junior Champion, made an excellent early start, exiting the water at the front of the race. She was in sixth position at the start of the run, pressing the leaders all the way to the finish.
Speaking after the race Taylor Brown said:
“It is amazing, and to win Team GB’s first medal of the day was amazing!
“It was really fast, flat course. We were hoping to get away on the bike but we came out of the transition a bit slow and had a couple of other girls with us so we decided to sit in because it is a windy course, and work together as a group.
“We got loads of support all around the course which was fantastic.”
Spurred on by Taylor Brown’s bronze Marc Austin and Gordon Benson, both 18, took to the same course next.
“Georgia winning bronze before we started was definitely motivation, all of us Brits are at the same stage in training and none of us are race fit at the moment. So seeing that she could do it in the form that she was in made me believe I could go out there and do the same” said Austin.
Austin exited the water in the first group of swimmers. On the bike leg a big pack formed, stopping anyone being able to make a break, so the race came down to the final transition and run.
Austin worked hard on the run, keeping the Australian pair in his sights, and he managed to keep the Hungarian athlete at bay to claim the bronze.
Speaking after his bronze medal performance Austin said;
“I didn’t really know how I was going to perform out here in Australia with the heat and getting acclimatised, but I am really happy with my performance. This is one of the greatest experiences of my life!”
1. Jaz HEDGELAND, AUS, 59:22
2. Sumire OHARA, JPN, 59:33
3. Georgia TAYLOR-BROWN, GBR, 59:37
8. Sophie COLDWELL, GBR, 1:01:07
1. Jacob BIRTWHISTLE, AUS, 55:03
2. Luke WILLIAN, AUS, 55:20
3. Marc AUSTIN, GBR, 55:33
13. Gordon BENSON, GBR, 59:10