Athletes Canada bound
CALOUNDRA’S Anastasia Heikkila (Tash) is suiting up and getting ready to take on the world’s best.
The 16-year-old will be going head-to-head with the best junior swimmers and runners from across the globe in the aquathlon events as a part of a strong Coast contingent representing Australian team in Penticton, Canada.
Athletes will take part in the week-long ITU Age Group World Multi-Sport Championships which incorporates sprint, standard, long and off-road triathlons, as well as aquathlon and aquabike disciplines.
Tash’s race includes of a 1km ocean swim in Okanagan Lake, and a 5km run along the foreshore.
Having only taken up competitive triathlon racing four years ago, this is a huge achievement for the 16-year old. Coming from a predominantly cross-country background, Tash is hoping the flat, fast run course will be to her advantage.
“I’m looking forward to the fast run course and seeing how I can mix it with the best of the best,” she said.
With the support of local training groups such as John Wallace High Performance Swim Squad, Maroochy Athletics Club and Caloundra Triathlon Club, Tash has been exposed to some high-intensity training leading up to the championships.
It’s quite daunting lining up alongside some of the best junior athletes in the world, but the experience is all worth it,” the Unity College student said.
Both Tash and her mother now face the immense task of juggling work, school/study, and balancing the budget to ensure they can travel to Canada to attend the championships. Her family’s pride in their daughter’s achievements and earning the right to wear the ‘green and gold’ is something that was only ever dreamed.
Caloundra teen Anastasia Heikkila will represent Australia in aquathlon in Canada.