Follow us on: facebook icon twitter_icon Instagram you tube icon

 > Home Page > About > Latest News > Kira Hedgeland eyes a podium finish in Edmonton after World Championship debut in Montreal

Kira Hedgeland eyes a podium finish in Edmonton after World Championship debut in Montreal

Kira Hedgeland eyes a podium finish in Edmonton after World Championship debut in Montreal

WA’s Gold Coast-based Kira Hedgeland had bided her time, with years of training and racing her way to a lifelong dream - the day she would make her debut into the big time and last weekend in Montreal she finally achieved that dream – lining up in her first World Triathlon Championship race. 

The 22-year-old lined up in Australia’s team last weekend for the innovative Super Sprint Eliminator Format and in another special moment, racing alongside her sister, Tokyo Olympian, Jaz Hedgeland. 

The Hedgeland girls have become household names in Australian triathlon during the past decade after they first of all started to make a name for themselves as the super sisters from Perth – two girls who grew up, idolising Britain’s Brownlee brothers. 

They travelled all round Australia, dominating the Australian Junior Series and graduating into the elite ranks after making the biggest move of their careers - following coach Dan Atkins who made the switch back to Queensland from WA. 

The girls who have been a major part of the Gold Coast triathlon scene, first Jaz and then Kira after finishing her schooling – often racing against each other, treasuring every moment with gracious and emotional hugs no matter where they finished. 

The sisters have now arrived into Edmonton this week for Saturday’s WTCS Final with Kira on the start line for her final appearance in the Under 23 World Championship and Jaz lining up in the Elite race. 

Triathlon Australia caught up with Kira as she reflected on her WTCS debut and her thoughts on Saturday’s World Championship. 

“I have looked up to all the athletes racing on the World Series for a long time and just wanting to be a part of it,” said Kira after arriving into Edmonton, still pinching herself. 

“As well as the major goals of racing in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, I have wanted to race on the World Circuit.  

“So I feel lucky to have begun the goal at 22 years of age as I hope this gives me time to learn and grow with each race, ultimately hoping to be competitive in the years to come.” 

How was the experience, particularly in a format that was new to the WTCS? 

“It was unique (that’s for sure), said Kira. 

“Obviously with it being the Super Sprint format, this added to the uncertainty of it and the covid restrictions made it not really feel like a big race in the days leading up to it.  

“But I loved seeing the athletes I (had) looked up to in the same athlete lounge as me (so) that was cool.”

And the experience with your sister? 

“I always love racing with Jaz. The best part is having somebody to bounce plans off. This being how we go about the prep for the race as well as how we go about the race itself. It was good to have her to talk to and share it with.” 

Kira was one of four Aussie girls, Emma Jackson, her sister Jaz and Natalie Van Coevorden to make the top 30 after the qualifying races – finishing 25th. 

How did you find the new Eliminator Format? 

“I think it’s good to have these new formats on the series. Just because it is part of how triathlon is changing and developing as a sport,” said Kira. 

“So to have an athlete that can perform at Standard Distance, Sprint Distance, Super Sprint and Mixed Relay, really shows the diversity of what triathlon is currently. Plus, it is exciting to watch and a massive challenge to be a part of.  

“The Eliminator format is definitely tough, but I think it definitely brings in that ‘who is strongest under fatigue?’ element.... so it’s mixing speed and endurance. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to experience this on the weekend but hopefully in the future.” 

And you just be excited about Saturday’s Under 23 World Championship title? 

“After the 2019 Worlds in Lausanne and coming fifth and being so close to the podium, I told myself next year I really wanted to come back and get on that podium.  

“(But) with the racing being cancelled in 2020 and now Edmonton being my last chance in U23s I would say I still have the goal of making the podium.  

“I am hoping that unlike Montreal with us (now) being allowed outside for a few more days before the race my body will feel better being able to move and it will feel more like a race too.”