21 year old Hamish Hammond is a World Champion, winning his 20 to 24 age group at the 2011 ITU World Triathlon Champs in Beijing last September. He now has his sights set on the elite level of racing with a spot on the New Zealand under 23 team for the 2012 Auckland World Champs in October and that process continues with his participation in the Contact Tri Series in Christchurch this Sunday.
Hammond hails from Greytown in the Wairarapa and this weekend is aiming for back to back titles after an amazing sprint finish victory over Stephen Sheldrake in Whangamata on January 3rd.
He has bounced back well from that tough work out.
“I’m a tad sore and tight following that race against Stephen, but after a good warm down and rest chilling with my girlfriend I felt good. I had a big training day on the Thursday in prep for this coming race at Pegasus. I felt surprisingly good and bounced back well throughout the week.”
While the victory was welcome, it hasn’t changed his focus this summer, to step up to the elite category of racing and in doing so follow in the footsteps of the likes of Sam Warriner who went from age group racer to elite world champion.
“Nothing has changed for me following Whangamata, I still have the same goal in mind, that being to make the under 23 elite team to race in Auckland. All my efforts are building to qualify for this in Tasmania in March.
“Having said that I would like to think another win this weekend is a real possibility, the body is feeling pretty strong although I have been a bit blocked up with a cold due to the average weather we have had recently.”
Hammond has no issues with travelling to the city that has suffered more than its share of heartache and stress in recent times with earthquakes the order of most days.
“It should be interesting being down there amongst the shakes. It is a good testament to the people of the region to continue to hold events like these and I expect that they will all race real strong with added hunger given they have had such a rough time.
“I think this is a great opportunity for people to get a break from some of the stress, definitely. If it was me, racing and training would be an ideal outlet to release stress.”
Entries are open online at www.triseries.co.nz or at registration on Saturday 14th January at Jellie Park Recreation Centre, 295 Ilam Road, Burnside, from 3pm to 5pm. There are no late entries on race day.
Saturday 14 January
Registration & Late Entries Jellie Park Recreation Centre 3pm - 5pm
Sunday 15 January
Registration* Pegasus' Flat White Cafe 7:30am - 8:30am
Contact 3:9:3 Men & Men's Teams 8:30am
Women & Women's/Mixed Teams 9:10am
Trophy - Sprint Men & Men's Teams 10:00am
Women & Women's/Mixed Teams 10:35am
Contact 1:2:1 Boys 12:15pm
Prize-Giving: At finish area from 1:00pm
Rain venue will be above The General Store