Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin

Jaz Hedgeland in strong form ahead of first Olympic Games


When Jaz Hedgeland was nine-yearsold she sat watching the Athens Olympics on her living room floor in Perth- deciding that she wanted to become a triathlete just like the women she was watching on television.

It was the second year triathlon had been part of the Games and Loretta Harrop won the silver medal after being passed with just 400m left in the run.

“That’s when I decided I wanted to give it a go,” she said. I think it was because there were three sports in one.”

Almost two decades later, Hedgeland has reached her goal, qualifying for her first Olympic Games.

“It’s been 17 years of chasing that dream and then you get one phone call and suddenly it’s you,” she said.

“It’s a bit weird to think now it’s going to be me on the screen like I was watching all those years ago. It’s pretty surreal, I’m so excited.”

In 2018, she won gold at the 2018 Dongdaihe ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup, and silver at the 2019 Moreton Bay OTU Triathlon Oceania Championsh­ips.

This year, she won the Oceania Triathlon Championsh­ips and Cup Port Douglas, as well as the Gold Coast Oceania Triathlon Cup, putting her in good stead for her Olympic debut.

Hedgeland said she’s keen to surprise herself in Tokyo, and is going in as focused as can be for anyone at their first Games, with a recent race during a camp in Cairns boosting her confidence.

“I’m excited to see what I can do,” she said. We had a race in Cairns that was the same distance as what Tokyo is going to be and I managed to push out my fastest 10km time.

“I feel like I’m going to Tokyo with some good form.”

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