Gruelling victory in Brazil

Nathan Barry

Nathan Barry

Monash PhD engineering student, Nathan Barry finished in fifth place at the World University Triathlon Championships held in Brazil last weekend.

Nathan, the only Australian competitor out of 60 triathletes, completed the 1.5 kilometre swim, 40 kilometre cycle, and 10 kilometre run in just over two hours and six minutes, surprising himself with his result.

“The race was the hardest I’ve ever competed in and I was realistically hoping for a top 20 finish, Nathan said.

“Everyone was hurting so much, it ended up being more a test of survival to see who could tough it out, and endure the heat and the climbs.”

Director of TeamMonash™, Martin Doulton believes Nathan should be proud of his fight for fifth place, and the fact that he was the only Australian in the event.

“Nathan wasn’t representing only Monash but also Australia, and he has come out of this tough event with a great result, both a physical and mental achievement he should be proud of,” Mr Doulton said.

Nathan has been part of the Elite Athlete Program at Monash since 2007 and has participated in the Australian University Games (AUG) twice as part of the swim team, but says the International Triathlon Union event in Brazil was unlike anything he had ever competed in.

“The athletes were very friendly, but this was a very serious competition and I was really nervous in the lead up to the race. Unlike the AUG, there was no social calendar and everyone was totally focused on their performance and preparation,” Nathan said.

After six months of solid racing, the event marked Nathan’s last race of the season, giving him a chance to focus on his research with the Monash Wind Tunnel group, where he is investigating aerodynamic interactions between cyclists.

Nathan is thankful for the support he has received from TeamMonash™, and the opportunity to represent the University in triathlon on the world stage.

“Being a member of the swim team, I have always wanted to represent Monash as a triathlete and to show the swimmers what I can do outside the pool,” Nathan said.