By Kent Gray/Triathlon.kiwi
Blake Miller woke up yesterday already a world champion and physically spent as a result ahead of his second race at the 2023 World Triathlon Multisport Championship in Ibiza, Spain. Or so he thought.
The Tauranga 22-year-old somehow ignored his weary legs to became a double world champion inside three days when he added the 20-24 Aquathlon title on Monday night (NZT) to the Sprint Duathlon crown he captured on Saturday.
“I felt pretty zapped coming off the back of the Duathlon, woke up not really able to walk freely so was just going in with a mindset of do what you can and see where that puts me,” Miller told Triathlon.kiwi.
Where it put the Triathlon Tauranga star was fifth overall in the combined 16-24 age band out of the water after the 1km swim “after finding a good set of feet”.
“I was happy to see sand…swim seemed to take forever. Got on the run and unfortunately went past [NZL team-mate] Finian [Orr] who was having a blinder and unfortunately has had injury ruin his championship.
“Slowly pegged them off one by one and had the last kilometre to myself to close the job out.”
So, obvious question, how does it feel to become a two-time world champion after completing the 1km swim, 5km run in 32:50 ahead of Spaniards Miguel Benito Castellanos and Pedro De La Torreregat?
“Yeah epic,” Miller said.
“Taking the tape has an additional feeling to it that is hard to replicate and is the first time I’ve been first across the line in a very long time through sometimes fault of my own.
“Overall just absolutely stoked. Way more than I ever imagined I’d be taking away from this championships.”
Miller now has confirmed Continental Cup starts at Africa Cup M’Diq (May 14) in Morocco and Africa Cup Sharm El Sheikh (May 19). He’ll stay on in Egypt for the African Aquathlon Championships, also at Sharm El Sheikh on May 21, and will then station himself in Wales to prep for the World Sprint 7 Relay Championships in Hamburg in July.
“The plan for the UK is just to train and prepare for Sprint Distance worlds in Hamburg. A fellow Ibiza team member is setting me up in Wales for a few weeks and focus will be purely on hitting Hamburg fully firing.”
Before all that, Blake will cheer on twin brother Liam in the Long Distance Aquabike in Ibiza on May 7. Mum Kathy and Dad Paul will be there too after finishing 29th and 46th respectively in the women’s 45-49 and men’s 50-54 Aquathlon races at the same time as Blake will doing his double act.
For the record Orr was unable to finish courtesy of a painful stress fracture while NZL celebrated HOW MANY other top 10s on Monday, highlighted by Joel Lange 4th in the U23 race. It was the London born and bred athletes first race for NZL with Lange taking advantage of his duel GBR and Kiwi citzenships through his Kiwi father.
Taranaki’s Angie Keen (5th, 35-39), Susan O’Brien (9th, 35-39), Canterbury legend Shirley Rolston (8th, 70-74), David Scott (5th, 60-64), like O’Brien a member of the Wellington Tri Club, and offshore-based Rebecca Swainson (10th, 25-29), captured the other notable top-10s.