On a wing and a prayer: Joondanna teen makes dash through the night to make it to back for Queen’s Baton Relay from NSW

Rahul Jegatheva at the National Aquathlon Championships, where he won the ages 16 to 19 category.
Rahul Jegatheva at the National Aquathlon Championships, where he won the ages 16 to 19 category.

TEENAGERS live busy lives but perhaps none more so than Joondanna athlete Rahul Jegatheva.

The 16-year-old Perth Modern School student proved distance is no barrier to success after winning a national triathlon competition in New South Wales then returning to Perth the next day for the Queen’s Baton Relay.

Rahul was selected as a baton bearer for the relay ahead of the Commonwealth Games and carried the baton into Scarborough Beach Amphitheatre on Sunday.

Rahul with the Queen’s Baton.

The previous day, he was in the Snowy Mountains for the National Aquathlon Championships, where he won the ages 16 to 19 category.

His father Jay Jay Jegathesan said the competition started at 4.30pm so the next race for them began straight after, with Rahul due back in Perth at 9am the next day.

“No flights were available from Canberra or Sydney that would make it back by 9am to Perth which was a must if he were to fulfil his commitments, so a seven-hour drive to Melbourne for a plane departing at 6am was the only option,” he said.

“Missing the national medal presentation which was held at 8pm, he was driven overnight through the twisting and turning Alpine Highway carved out of the mountains that make up the Great Dividing Range in rain, mist and darkness to get on that 6am plane.”

Rahul will next compete in the International Triathlon Union World Aquathlon Championships in Denmark in July.

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