Gamble pays off with place in NZ squad

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A Dunedin triathlete’s gamble in a national qualifying race has paid off.

Jack Divers (16) was recently named one of the New Zealand triathletes to compete in the world age group championships on the Gold Coast in September.

To qualify, Jack had to finish in the top 12 of the under-19 section in the Suzuki National Triathlon Championships in Taupo last month.

He said he “gambled” during the race and changed his tactic.

“I was just pushing myself on the bike right from the start. I did not worry about pacing myself.”

He pushed himself again in the run and eased off when he knew he was in a qualifying position and finished seventh in the race.

The triathlon will be the first time the Otago Boys’ High School pupil has represented his country.

Jack, a competitive swimmer since he was about 8, started competing in triathlons about two years ago, after adding biking and running to his repertoire.

“Most people find swimming the hardest.

“Now I can just focus on the two other disciplines.”

When he wanted to take triathlon to the next level, he upped his intensity.

“I was doing well in the Otago region,” he said.

“I needed to train a bit more to get to that next level.”

Now, he trains six days a week, including four mornings in the pool.

He has recently been training with New Zealand triathlete Tony Dodds, who helped him with his tactical game, such as where to position himself in the race.

No doubt Dodds advice will come in handy later on in the year.

But for now, Jack is focused on the New Zealand secondary school championships this weekend in Nelson. It will be his last big race for the season.

“I will probably have a break and get back into it after a couple of weeks time and train hard over the winter.”