Duathlete loves his dou­ble life

MATT AIMS TO BREAK INTO SPORT’S TOP FIVE

Ellenbrook Advocate - - SPORT - Lisa Thomas

DUATHLETE Matt Smith is mak­ing head­lines across the world for his abil­ity in the sport.

The 21-year-old is num­ber 12 in the world duathlon rank­ing and ranked sixth in the world’s big­gest duathlon se­ries, Pow­er­man.

The Vines res­i­dent has had an in­cred­i­ble climb to the top, com­pet­ing in his first duathlon at 18 years old and win­ning the na­tional cham­pi­onships the same year, and tak­ing home two World Cham­pi­onship Duathlon wins.

He is look­ing to com­pete in his first Pow­er­man World Cham­pi­onship in Zofin­gen in Swe­den in Septem­ber.

Smith placed sec­ond in Pow­er­man Malaysia last month, beat­ing about 3800 com­peti­tors in the gru­elling race con­sist­ing of a 10km run, 60km bike ride and an­other 10km run. He will head to Jakarta this month to com­pete in Pow­er­man In­done­sia.

Smith said his love of run­ning started in school.

“I started run­ning at school and no­ticed I was quite good at it. A mate of mine was do­ing triathlons, so I gave it a go but I wasn’t very good at swim­ming,” he said.

“I de­cided to try duathlons and I re­ally en­joyed it.”

Smith said he en­joyed push­ing him­self and im­prov­ing ev­ery day, with his fo­cus on get­ting stronger and faster rather than win­ning.

He said his so­cial life had taken a step back, with a 15 to 20-hour a week train­ing sched­ule, work and hav­ing just com­pleted his Bach­e­lor’s de­gree in sport and health science, and biome­chan­ics.

“It takes a lot of ded­i­ca­tion and you have to be 100 per cent com­mit­ted,” he said.

“I en­joy what I’m do­ing but it takes up all my time. My so­cial life is ba­si­cally rid­ing with friends to get a coffee.”

Smith said his goal was to make duathlons a full-time ca­reer.

“Once you break into the top five, peo­ple start pay­ing for you to com­pete, mak­ing it a fi­nan­cially vi­able ca­reer,” he said.

“It’s also a way to see the world be­cause you’re trav­el­ling for months on end.”

Pic­ture: David Baylis

Duathlon com­peti­tor Matt Smith is cur­rently ranked 12th in the world.

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