Let’s Go Tokyo podcast: Triathlete Jaz Hedgeland on her first Olympics, how hard she’s worked to get to Tokyo

Kate RyanThe West Australian
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WA triathlete Jaz Hedgeland is preparing for her first Olympic Games.
Camera IconWA triathlete Jaz Hedgeland is preparing for her first Olympic Games. Credit: Delly Carr (Triathlon Australia)./supplied

Don’t let her bubbly nature fool you, because this 26-year-old is a fierce competitor, determined and fights hard for what she wants — and gets it.

Jaz Hedgeland is one of the best in the world in the triathlon — a brutal test of endurance and strength — and is on her way to her first ever Olympics.

“I felt a lot of things all at once. And it's pretty crazy, because obviously, you're dreaming of that phone call for so long. And then when it did happen, I was I was just in shock. And I couldn't really say anything for a good 10 seconds. But I was absolutely overwhelmed with with enjoyment,” she said.

Telling the Let’s Go Tokyo podcast, she said her love for the sport began at just nine-years-old when she watched the athletes at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

But she said she has always loved anything that kept her active and it was a struggle to pin down just one sport, so she chose a discipline that’s three sports in one.

“I think it's common knowledge for anyone who's what's the traffic on the first 200 meters or the swim is a bit of a bit of a fistfight in the water. So that's definitely I think something we're all standing on the start line, and we're all a bit nervous for the first part of the swim. And after that, you can kind of get into your groove,” she said.

“But I definitely have a soft spot for running, I have always loved that. And I think it's just the freedom, you just need a pair of shoes you can run wherever you are in the world. And quite a few of my injuries have stopped me from running. So whenever I get back to running again, I'm like, I'm gonna do this forever.”

Not content with simply excelling in one area, Hedgeland has chosen to combine swimming, cycling and running to become one of the toughest athletes in Australia.

“I think with triathlon, it's very difficult to get a balance of swimming, cycling and running well all at the same time, and then being able to do it in a race scenario as well. So I think mentally, it definitely challenges you because it's not something you can train for a short amount of time, work out the secrets and then nail it, it takes years and years,” she told the Let’s Go Tokyo podcast.

Listen to her excitement as she talks to Ben O’Shea and Mark Readings on the Let’s Go Tokyo podcast about how she made it, injury setbacks and why she chooses to punish herself.

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