Young Australian triathlete Matt Bailey describes himself as "the kid" of teamTBB, who proudly welcomed him into the fold in January 2012. "I know that I have so much to learn, but I am definitely ready and prepared to put in all the hard work that is required for me to be a successful member of the team," he said upon joining teamTBB. The 23-year-old from Melbourne certainly has a bright future ahead of him, having placed second at the Ironman 70.3 in Canberra in 2011 and second in the Under 23 World Long Course Championship in 2009. Now training under maestro Brett Sutton, Bailey was recently duly praised by Trizone triathlon news as someone that "the field will be wanting to keep a very close eye on."
Bailey says he had an unconventional introduction to triathlon because he wasn’t a state or national representative in swimming, cycling or running. “I was a kid who played lots of different sports as I grew up, my passions were cricket and soccer,” he says. His older brother Chris, who had watched it in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and decided to give it a try, lured Bailey into the world of triathlons.
"Being the kid brother, I tagged along with him to the local triathlon swim squad," he says. Unsurprising for an Aussie, Bailey had done surf swimming and low level squad swimming growing up, but with consistent training and a coach, he has been able to finish in the top five in all the Ironman 70.3 races he has competed in over the past four years.
Bailey also loves bike racing, and races A grade at his local club. "But the thing I don’t like about bike racing is the tactics where one person can do most of the work and then the peloton comes over the top of them," he says. "I guess that is why I decided at a young age that I wanted to race long course in triathlon. I like to train hard and race hard."
And race hard he certainly does! Bailey's first Ironman 70.3 race was in December 2009, and despite being only 19, he placed sixth overall. That same year, Bailey was the Australian U20 Long course champion, and also began a Bachelor of Education (physical education) degree at Victoria University. He now studies part time in addition to his triathlon training.