LAUNCESTON triathlete Joe Gambles said he was ``a bit overwhelmed'' by his breakthrough medal at the 70.3 world championship in Las Vegas.
After two fifths and a fourth in previous years, the Colorado-based 31-year-old was delighted with his third place in the Nevada humidity.
``I've dreamed of a podium placing and I have finally got it,'' Gambles said.
``I race pretty even splits over the three laps, stick to my guns, I picked off two or three people each lap and all of sudden I was in clear third.
``I was only going to be happy if I executed my perfect race and that's what I did and got beaten by two better athletes on the day.''
Gambles clocked 24:48 for the 1.9-kilometre swim in Lake Las Vegas, 2:14:06 for the 90km bike ride and 1:14:29 for the 21km run.
His overall time of 3:56:55 saw him finish behind Germany's defending champion Sebastian Kienle and 49 seconds off second-placed Kiwi Terenzo Bozzone.
The former Kings Meadows High student, who had amassed several wins on the US 70.3 circuit this year, tweeted: ``So happy to take 3rd today at 70.3 world champs! Well done @SebastianKienle on his title defense and @terenzo1 on an amazing run!''
Fellow Launceston triathlete James Hodge was among those to offer his congratulations, tweeting: ``I knew Smokin @joegambles would pull something out of the bag.''
On a good day for Australians in Vegas, Brisbane's Melissa Hauschildt, 30, survived a crash on the bike to win the women's event with compatriot Annabel Luxford third, while Tim Reed (fifth) and Leon Griffin (seventh) were hot on the heels of Gambles.
Three-time world champion Craig Alexander had a tough day, finishing 19th after receiving a drafting penalty early in the bike leg.