Sprinting to the top
Young sprinter Andrea Koenen has shown up her Aussie rivals twice at the same event.
The Mt Albert resident took out gold in the 100 metre and 200m at the Australian under-20 Track and Field Champs in Adelaide earlier this month.
While she won gold in both events as the top ranked sprinter at the New Zealand Nationals in March, repeating that success in Australia came as a bit of a shock.
“I wasn’t really expecting the wins in Adelaide. There’s a lot more people who can run closer to your time and are going to push you further.” ercise science, the Auckland University student knows she has to put in the work to be successful.
“I’m with my coaches every chance I get,” she says.
Andrea is hoping her recent success will see her selected for the New Zealand team that will travel to the World University Championships in Serbia during July.
She’s already had some overseas experience, attending the youth Commonwealth competition in India last year.
“It was totally amaz- ing to be able to compete over there at that level.”
Waitakere City running coach Charles Gibb says Andrea’s wins in Australia are a rarity in the athletics world.
“It’s bigger than Texas. Usually it’s a big deal when athletes get a place.”
He puts her success down to pure hard work.
“She’s got a lot of dedication. Andrea is really focused on what she wants to do,” he says.
“She’s at the gym in the morning and at the track in the afternoon.”
Mr Gibb says travelling to Australia has helped improve Andrea’s mental toughness.
“They will find a fault with you just to niggle you.”