Three's a Crowd - Unless You're a Triathlete

April 2, 2018

Team Scotland will be well represented in Triathlon at Gold Coast 2018 as a trio of athletes toe the start line on Thursday 5 April, the opening day of competition. Looking to make their mark will be Beth Potter in the women’s race and Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon in the men’s event.

Much has been made of Potter’s attempt at making history, as running in the 10,000m a few days later she’ll become the first Team Scotland athlete ever to compete in two sports at the same Games. It will be her hardest challenge yet, competing three times in five days, just one year on from taking up her new sport.

“It is going to be challenging, as on Thursday I have the Individual Triathlon, Saturday the Triathlon Mixed Team Relay and Monday the 10,000m, so it’s not giving me much time to recover. Last year after the World Champs 10,000m I did a triathlon six days later and that wasn’t pretty, so I’m hoping that this way round should be better, as doing a track race is harder on the legs.

“After Rio I just re-evaluated what I wanted to do. Everyone thought I was a bit crazy because I hadn’t even done a triathlon yet and I said I’d wanted to do the double! But it’s always an honour to pull on the Scotland kit, so to do it in two sports is extra special.”

Marc Austin returns having thrilled the crowds in Glasgow as he exited the swim with the Brownlee brothers and dug deep to ride with them in a three man leading group clear of the rest of the field. Although he ultimately finished down in 21st place he sent the Scottish crowd into overdrive and gained enormously from the experience.

“I learnt a lot in Glasgow so I’m a lot more experienced now,” he said. I hope to use that experience to show that I’m a better athlete than four years ago.

“Last year was a bit of a breakthrough into the senior ranks with my best result fourth in a World Cup in Madrid, but this winter I’ve tried to address the weaknesses that showed up last year. I’ve been really looking at my bike strength and trying to close the gap on the best in the world. I feel like I’m a much more well-rounded athlete than this time last year and I’m looking forward to seeing how that translates come race day.”

“Meeting up with rest of Team Scotland has been great and this is the only chance I really get to be part of a massive team – it’s amazing to feel part of one big unit as opposed to just being on your own.”

Austin’s teammate Grant Sheldon also has experience from Glasgow, having produced an accomplished performance for 14th place and he too will be looking to improve on that on the Gold Coast.

Once the individual races are done and dusted the aforementioned trio, plus youngster Erin Wallace, will turn their attention to the Mixed Team Relay, where the Scots will be hoping to push for a medal after finishing seventh in the inaugural event in Glasgow.

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