Newcastle’s Aaron Royle showed glimpses of his Olympic form leading into the ITU World Triathlon Series race in England this weekend.
Continuing his return from plantar fasciitis injury, the 28-year-old recorded the fastest run leg at the international mixed relay team event in Nottingham on Friday morning (AEST).
Royle completed the 1.5 kilometre course in 19 minutes and 15 seconds, which was 20 seconds ahead of the next best performance and caught up 23 seconds for his side, but Australia narrowly missed a podium position.
The Novocastrian, Ryan Bailie, Charlotte McShane and Ashleigh Gentle finished 0.01 seconds behind France for the bronze medal. USA claimed line honours from Great Britain.
The mixed relays, included at the last two Commonwealth Games, will debut at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Royle, who was ninth at the Rio Games two years ago, now turns his attention to the individual race in Leeds on Monday morning (12:51am AEST).
He is now based in Leeds for training and clinched a career-best third at the same event in 2016.