ZB

From training two weeks after giving birth to Commonwealth Games medal pursuit

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 May 2022, 11:31am
Andrea Hansen during the 2022 Oceania Triathlon Cup. Photo / Photosport
Andrea Hansen during the 2022 Oceania Triathlon Cup. Photo / Photosport

From training two weeks after giving birth to Commonwealth Games medal pursuit

Author
NZ Herald ,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 May 2022, 11:31am

From motherhood to the pursuit of medals again for veteran triathlete Andrea Hansen nee Hewitt.

Hansen has been selected for a fourth Commonwealth Games at Birmingham. Olympic bronze medallist Hayden Wilde, Tayler Reid, Dylan McCullough, Ainsley Thorpe and Nicole van der Kaay are also in the team.

40-year-old Hansen returns after starting training again following the arrival of her 15-month-old daughter Flossie.

Hansen says she became adept at running with a pram and began training just two weeks after giving birth.

"Easier than I thought it would be. At the beginning she was with me every session so I was doing a lot of running with the pram. She didn't actually mind the wind trainer noise. The hardest for me is the swimming, that's still a process.

"I got in the water two weeks after giving birth so I was pretty motivated straight away. I wasn't fast but I was motivated. And when I started racing the cross-countries last year my fitness improved pretty fast."

All six New Zealand athletes will compete individually in the men's and women's Olympic distance race, which consists of a 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run.

Once they have competed in the individual, a team of four will be named to compete as a team at the Mixed Team Relay, known as the MTR or MR.

Van der Kaay, who placed won silver at the World Triathlon Championship Series in Hamburg in the Elite Women's race at the end of 2021, was part of the mixed team alongside Hansen and Reid that claimed bronze on the Gold Coast while Tokyo Olympian Thorpe will be competing at her first Commonwealth Games.

In the men, Olympic Bronze medallist Hayden Wilde has carried on his impressive performance since the Games, with a World Champion Xterra title, a second place in the Triathlon Super League, a win at the Singapore Arena Games in May and most recently claimed a silver medal at the Yokohama World Triathlon.

2018 Youth Olympic champion Dylan McCullough says he'll be putting all his energy into chasing a top result at the Games.

"My coach John Hellemans and I have set a good plan, which includes a training camp in Spain and a few build up races before the games to make sure I go into the race at 100%," said McCullough.

"I am really looking forward to soaking up the whole Commonwealth Games experience. I have just turned 21 and the Commonwealth Games is something that most New Zealand school kids learn about at some stage during their schooling. I remember doing a project on the Commonwealth Games in Primary school, so to get the opportunity to represent New Zealand now in Birmingham is a very special feeling."