Jaz pushes the pain barrier

Promising triathlete Jaz Hedgeland strides out.
Promising triathlete Jaz Hedgeland strides out.

WHEN she was nine years old, Willetton triathlete Jaz Hedgeland was both mesmerised and inspired while sitting on her couch watching the Olympics on television.

That inspiration has pushed the 18-year-old to pursue a future in swimming, riding and running with an aim to win gold at the Olympics.

The teenager is on her way; recently winning the Australian Junior Triathlon Championships and Series and gaining selection into the Junior Worlds team competing in Canada.

Hedgeland said there was always lots going through her mind while competing.

‘I’m always thinking about what I’m going to do next.

‘I prepare in training to be able to apply what I think is best for that moment in the race, to set me up for the next moment,’ Hedgeland said.

‘When it gets tough, I think of all the training sessions I’ve done to prepare me to race, and I ask myself if this is as fast as I can go. Can I hurt more?’

Hedgeland has taken out the junior national championships three years in a row, and this time with her sister Kira by her side. The sisters finished one and two on the podium, respectively.

Hedgeland said it was the best feeling to see her younger sister do so well in her first year in juniors.

‘There is sister rivalry, but more so, there is always support for one another,’ she said.

‘Our rivalry helps push each other when training and racing, but at the same time we can always depend on each other.’

The triathlete has a busy schedule training seven days a week, most mornings and afternoons.

‘I’m lucky that I’m able to be focussing on just triathlon at the moment, but I plan on going back to study sometime,’ Hedgeland said.

‘Let’s just say, time management is important to juggle everything.’

The budding runner, swimmer and rider hopes to win that Olympic gold, but before that, hopes to finish first in Canada.