Podcast #45: Non Stanford, Matt Hauser and Laura Lindemann preview WTCS Montreal

by doug.gray@triathlon.org on 12 Aug, 2021 04:07 • Español
Podcast #45: Non Stanford, Matt Hauser and Laura Lindemann preview WTCS Montreal

The fifth edition of World Triathlon Championship Series Montreal takes on a new look this weekend, with super-sprint action over two days distilling the men’s and women’s fields down to 10-athlete finales. On the latest edition of the World Triathlon Podcast, we hear from Great Britain’s 2013 World Champion Non Stanford, Australia’s 2017 Junior World Champion Matt Hauser and Germany’s double-Olympian Laura Lindemann as they preview the format and reflect on their Olympic experiences.

You can listen to the new episode on Apple, Google and Spotify.

For Non Stanford, Tokyo 2020 provided a very different experience, coming on the other side of the cameras as a pundit for the BBC’s coverage of the three Olympic triathlon races, leaving her with valuable experience as well as renewed hunger to get back to the blue carpet.

“I’m looking forward to the weekend and seeing how I stack up against the other girls, you know, it’s going to be completely different. Nobody really knows where they stand. I’m kind of thinking it’s going to favour the younger, faster generation of athletes coming through, but then hopefully us older athletes can hold our own as well. The extra rounds might start to play into the favour of the more experienced athletes that might have a bit more endurance, but it’s completely unknown. We’ll find out who suits this new format as the race unfolds, but it’ll certainly be exciting.”

“Tokyo 2020 was very different to what I’m used to, but I absolutely loved the experience of working for the BBC and was incredibly grateful to be on the other side and see how things work from the other side. And of course I was really disappointed not to be racing in Tokyo myself, but you know what, when one door closes another one opens and I still had a really positive experience during the Games period.”

“So I felt quite privileged to have been asked to do that, and then there the pundits for their various sports like Mark Foster Beth Tweddle and Michael Johnson was also there, so that was my starstruck moment in the green room with him before going on set. “

“Watching the Mixed Relay was pretty intense. I think I sat the whole race sort of tapping my foot nervously on the floor. My co-host was pacing around the studio getting really nervous. And then we’re all stood up and cheering and shouting and yeah, I was pretty nervous, especially when Vincent overtook Alex, but Alex was fantastic and responded so well.”

“You know, especially when you consider his age and maturity and experience he handled the situation really well. So yeah, we’re all very, very proud of that and I know the four of them are celebrating back home right now. It wasn’t a normal Games, but it would definitely be one that’s remembered forever.”

Matthew Hauser was back in the thick of the action after an extended time in Australia and unable to travel abroad. Having been in such good form pre-pandemic in 2019, it was a tough situation to bounce back from, but there are few better stages on which to make a return than the Olympics, and Tokyo has undoubtedly fuelled the fires of Paris 2024 ambition.

“It has been hard being effectively locked up in Australia. I mean, it’s been a good, safe environment where we’ve been able to get some good hard training done but you can’t buy the international experience and that’s what it has been like for the past 18 months. And it was found out a little bit in Tokyo.”

“I do think Montreal plays to my strengths and I performed well here in 2019 and in the sprint distance there, so having this distance this time, hopefully there will be more room for success. I think if you’re enjoying what you’re doing, you’re going to do well. I’ll be trying to squeeze everything out of the rest of this season and perform at my best and hopefully get another great result here.”

“I think these races are going to be quite front-end. So swim, bike and that will allow hopefully a few of the athletes up front to not necessarily use up everything but to try and conserve as much energy as possible just to sneak into that top 10 or just to qualify and get through the next round.”

“For Tokyo, I was just honoured to be there to put it all on the line. We suffered out there, we definitely gave everything. That’s all you could ask for. There was a little bit of extra angst, I guess, in the moment. You’ve potentially got the wider view of your country on your shoulders, but I think you’re just trying to strip it back to what you know, and with the short and sharp pace, you’ve got to have your mind on the task and be able to adapt quickly.”

“The next few years are extremely exciting. I want to be a part of those Olympic stories and part of that Olympic experience again. So yeah, a lot of my next three years will be dedicated to that and growing off the experience that I had in Tokyo, I’ll be highly motivated and with a bit of a chip on the shoulder situation heading into hopefully my second Games.”

“We’ll have the Birmingham Commonwealth Games as well just around the corner next year, Joel Filiol leading the charge in the Triathlon Australia high-performance team now and, yeah, it be really great to have him supporting us and being able to access his knowledge and experience as well.”

“After Montreal I’ll have Edmonton and my last shot at the U23 Worlds, it’s a great opportunity to have another shot at the title. Ali Brownlee is the only one to do Junior and U23 so that’d be a great achievement in itself.”

Laura Lindemann pulled out a brilliant performance for Team Germany in their first leg of the Olympic Mixed Relay after coming back to close down Jess Learmonth and Katie Zaferes’ early charge and will be looking to build on that experience again in Montreal.

“So the new format is similar to the relay distance, but it’s more races, obviously. It’s not just one all out, so it will be tactical but the first part is just to get through, to qualify as relaxed as possible, but also as safe as possible and then see what happens on the second day.”

“I never did something like this, it will be very interesting. I think it’s super important to recover after each race and to be as relaxed at the start line as possible also to stay focused and then just fall out after that last race.”

“In the Tokyo Mixed Relay the girls were swimming very fast and I just wanted to hang on on the bike and was thinking ‘okay, if I’m in this group, that’s good. We’re making time over the rest of the field’. That was the plan, and then on the road I really felt that start of the race, the hot swimming and the tough biking.”

“I just didn’t have the legs in the beginning of the run, Katie (Zaferes) was pulling away and I was like, okay, just hold the gap. Just try to make up every second that I can because there’s the whole team on the other side and they believe in me and were shouting me on.”

“On that second lap I thought maybe everyone was hurting too and then I saw the gap getting closed and I just wanted to bring it all out to the line and give us hope of that first group.  We were very happy with the sixth position in the end and everyone gave the best and it was just a very good team.”

“It was a good way to select for the relay, but at the same time you don’t know what you will get on the day. I mean, on this occasion everything was ok, Annabel and Justus were the best on the day and that was fine, but you could also have someone get a flat tyre or be involved in a crash, just have a bad day. I think for those who didn’t qualify, too, it was just mentally very tough. Hopefully for Paris selection will be a combination of individual and relay, that would be perfect.”

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