Timaru's Katene to compete on the global stage

STU PIDDINGTON
Last updated 05:00 12/02/2014
James Katene
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
MAKING A SPLASH: Timaru's James Katene’s dream of representing New Zealand has come true with his selection in the Triathlon New Zealand team to the world short-course championships.

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Timaru's triathlete James Katene is off to Canada after making his first New Zealand team.

Katene will race in the 20- to 24-year-old age group as South Canterbury's sole representative at the ITU sprint distance Triathlon World Championships in Edmonton in August.

The 20-year-old has focused on the sport for the past 18 months, after first taking up swimming then dabbling in multisport, including the two-day Coast to Coast.

He credits his improvement to hard work, as well as his Whangarei-based coach Sam Warriner, a Commonwealth Games silver medallist and former Olympian.

Katene has returned from the national sprint championships, where he finished eighth in his age-group, completing the 750m swim, 20km ride and 5km run in 1hr 14min.

Breaking into the New Zealand team has been his main focus over the past year so he was "very excited" to be selected.

"It is the trip of a lifetime, a great opportunity to get more experience."

It will also be Katene's first experience of competing outside New Zealand.

"My main focus is the race but it will be good to be part of the team, competing overseas."

Katene said he trained around 25 hours a week, mainly by himself, following his programme.

"It's easy to keep motivated when you have a big goal."

His strength is his cycling, he says, but he needs to work on his swimming.

As the world championship is a self-funded event, Katene said he would be trying hard to raise the $6500 required through sponsorship and fundraising activities.

A qualified personal trainer, Katene is working as a window and carpet cleaner as it suits his training.

While Katene is hugely competitive, two years ago he showed his softer side.

In the 2012 Coast to Coast, he sacrificed his own ambitions to help a 71-year-old competitor in distress.

He offered his food and water and opted to run with the man rather than just go on ahead of him, costing him more than two hours.

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