Gold Coast 2018: Mami Tani’s successful switch14.09.2018
Former long jumper out to defend triathlon world title
Japan’s Mami Tani spent years in the sand of the long jump pit, but this weekend it will be all about the sand of the Gold Coast beach as she looks to defend her PTS4 title at 2018 World Triathlon Grand Final on Saturday (15 September) in Australia.
“I decided to transfer from long jump to triathlon in 2016, because I thought I would be able to continue my athletic life on a long-term basis,” Tani said. “Of course, I was also looking at Tokyo 2020 which will be held in my country.”
“I’m still struggling, but I think starting a new sport just after giving birth was good timing for me. There are role models as mum-athletes, like Olympic medallist Nicola Spirig, in the triathlon world who have also pushed me a lot.”
“The transition from long jump to triathlon has not been easy,” Tani said. “I’m still struggling, but I think starting a new sport just after giving birth was good timing for me. There are role models as mum-athletes, like Olympic medallist Nicola Spirig, in the triathlon world who have also pushed me a lot.”
It has been a whirlwind two years for the 36-year-old since switching sports in 2016 - Tani’s record since has been eight races and eight wins in international triathlon.
“I never imagined I would have had this much success as it’s only my second year in Para triathlon and I still see myself as a challenger,” she said.
Last year Tani became the first ever Japanese Para triathlete to be crowned world champion, beating Australia’s double world champion Sally Pilbeam by 32 seconds in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The pair will renew their rivalry on the Gold Coast, where Pilbeam will have the backing of the home crowd. But as the sport of Para triathlon continues to grow, so does the competition.
Great Britain’s newly crowned European champion Hannah Moore will compete at her first World Championships, as will Kelly Elmlinger who impressed en-route to claiming the US national title in June in only her second Para triathlon.
“The number of Para triathletes are also getting bigger in Japan and I’ve been gaining many good experiences in the local games as well. I think both elites and Para triathletes from Japan are leading Asian triathlon,” Tani added.
- Related News
- Japan shine at Asian Para Triathlon Championships
- French pass final triathlon test in Lausanne
- Para sport review: August 2018
- Para sport preview: September 2018
- Tokyo 2020: Record number of sports to be broadcast live
- Triathlon 2018 Ones to Watch announced
- Gold Coast 2018: Mark Barr closing in on dream