Iron Māori winner set to take on ITU World Triathalon

By Eru Paranihi

Iron Māori champion Josh Hemara is about to take on the World at the ITU World Triathlon Championships in the Netherlands. Hemara has his sights on winning the event, after picking up a Bronze medal two years ago.

He is proud to be representing New Zealand and his family

“It's pretty special to wear the New Zealand fern, and obviously to have Hemara across my chest.

"My Dad, he ended up getting sick, and can't compete anymore, so it's awesome to go out there and wear the family name, and race for him as well.”

Last year the Ngāti Raukawa athlete came fourth and missed out on a medal in Mexico at the World Triathlon Championships last year.

“Obviously it's always a dream to take out that gold medal, and see the New Zealand flag raised, and potentially hear the national anthem.”

Iron Māori last year was even more special for the Hemara family. Josh's younger sister Sarai was also a winner on the day, taking out the overall women’s section. She will also be joining him in Holland.

“To travel to Iron Māori with her, and my Dad as well was competing. For her to take out the womens was pretty special to see her come across the line. And again, to be interviewed by Māori Television was pretty cool as well.”

The 28-year-old says he's worried a sweet tooth could hinder his hopes of winning a gold medal. As well as training, he needs to be strict on his diet.

“And that's sort of my let-down. So I've got to stay clear of chocolate. I'll always indulge and have some anyway, I'm not gonna have a whole block to myself.”

Competing at age group level, Hemara's best Triathlon time is under two hours. This year's race will be his last in the 25 – 29-year-old division. There is no reason the Hutt Valley resident could go higher.

“Going forward, I would love to start racing at the elite level.”

Hemara has just under a month before he sets off to embark on one of the biggest triathlon races of his career.