Claire Dedden is eager to inspire budding triathletes after a frustrating year battling injury.
The Australian, who this week announced her partnership with performance clothing brand dhb, tasted world glory over the sprint distance in 2018.
She stopped the clock in 1hr 5min 22sec as she soared to success in the female 20-24 age group on the Gold Coast – little more than a year after taking up the sport.
But Claire, who was born in Caves Beach but now lives in Newcastle, New South Wales, was quickly brought down to earth.
Injuries left the 23-year-old struggling for momentum in 2019. But those setbacks have left her more determined than ever to return to the highest level.
Claire, who is targeting a return to her national team in 2020, said: “It has felt like one step forward and two steps back over the past 12 months.
“But now I am both eager and motivated to gain a spot in the Australian team again in 2020.
“I also hope to mix up my races and compete in a variety of distances and disciplines.
“But my main goal is that, whilst undertaking these races, I can inspire others to never give up and to get outside and give it a go.
“You never know where something as simple as that can take you.”
Claire studied occupational therapy at the University of Newcastle, while working in disability support.
With a background in cross-country running, she relishes her early-morning training sessions in the great outdoors and draws her own inspiration from the athletes she meets while racing.
Claire added: “I love the way sport allows me to get outdoors and explore in nature and fresh air, especially during my favourite time of day – sunrise.
“And I love the way triathlon helps to keep me fit and healthy, the travelling for training and racing not to mention the wonderful like-minded and inspiring people you meet along the way.
“I am motivated by both improvements and failures. I love seeing progress with faster times and becoming stronger – with any wins being a bonus.
“But there is something about the failures and pushbacks that makes me even hungrier and drives me to become a better athlete.
“Whether that’s having a ‘bad day’ on race day, mechanicals, misfortune, making mistakes or getting injuries, these are all aspects to learn from and grow to become a better athlete, regardless of your level.”
Click here to follow her journey on Instagram.