MACCABIAH Games hero Josh Goldstat capped off a year to remember with a gold medal on debut at the ITU World Championships on the Gold Coast.
Competing in the 40-44 age group in the sprint distance triathlon (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run), Goldstat knew he had the race won with 300 metres to go.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to have won. Seeing my family in the grandstand at the finishing line was incredible,” Goldstat told The AJN.
Triathletes were forced to slog it out in tough conditions, with the mercury hovering around the mid-to-high 20s.
Goldstat admitted the weather was challenging, particularly coming off Melbourne’s winter months but he was confident in his preparation.
The first leg of the event, the 750m swim, “was brutal early on” with almost 100 competitors fighting to get into the front of the pack.
Goldstat was fourth out of the water and joined six others for the 20km draft legal ride, where he and three others opened up a 20-second gap heading into the home stretch, the 5km run.
From there, Goldstat powered past the leading pack to win by 14 seconds and in a time of one hour, 15 seconds.
“My race could not have been any better,” Goldstat said. “I had nothing left in the tank … I couldn’t have scripted the race any better … I am still pinching myself.”
Coming off four gold medals at last year’s Maccabiah Games, Goldstat then turned his attention to qualifying for the Australian team at the world champs.
“Once I was named on the team, I managed to train well, stay healthy and peak at the right time,” he said.
Four other Jewish triathletes, all part of the Maccabiah medal-winning Australian team, competed on the Gold Coast – Neil Slonim, Sydney father-son duo Julian and Daniel Rifkin and Barry Lipp.
Along with Goldstat, Slonim (65-69) raced in the sprint distance event on Thursday, finishing 19th in a 60-strong field and fifth out of 25 Aussies, a result he was “very happy with”.
In their second world champs, the Rifkins competed in the Olympic distance (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run) on Sunday, with Julian (60-64) placing 48th out of 65, and Daniel (30-34) 41st out of 94.
Lipp (60-64), a four-time veteran at the Worlds, also raced in the Olympic distance and finished 51st in a field of 65.
On Wednesday, Daniel Rifkin (30-34) won a silver medal in the Aquathlon (750m swim and 5km run) in a time of 27 minutes, 43 seconds.