New season of the World Triathlon Podcast kicks off with Maya Kingma
Mental toughness, the winning mindset and the glitz and glamour on display at the inaugural Global Triathlon Awards are all on the menu of the first World Triathlon Podcast of the new season, in the company of Netherlands’ Maya Kingma.
As always, you can listen to the full episode and subscribe to the podcast via all the usual platforms including Spotify, Apple and Google.
A technically gifted swimmer and national champion at a young age, Kingma explains how much of the appeal of the switch to triathlon was being able to race internationally as a junior, and over a decade ago that meant heading to Auckland for the 2012 Grand Final, where she finished 13th.
“That experience was so great and the the year after I was able to do my first WTS race in Hamburg because it was a sprint distance. It was crazy. One of the experienced athletes came up to me and asked if we were allowed to swim warm up and I was like, ‘I don’t know, I’ve never done this!’ I was new and don’t even remember who it was, but just thinking, ‘I’ve seen you on Television!’
If that first Series event was something of an eye-opener, and one that wouldn’t be repeated for another four years, it also gave her the encouragement that leading a world-class field in the water inevitably brings.
Having completed a degree in Psychology and AI in 2020, Kingma was able to throw herself fully in to the professional world of swim-bike-run. A breakthrough season in 2019 was followed by a first World Cup podium in Karlovy Vary the following year and top 10 WTS finish in Hamburg, undoubted highlights of a pandemic-hit 2020.
The delayed Olympic year then began spectacularly well with a first Series podium in Yokohama and gold in Leeds, results that had the hallmarks of a true contender establishing herself at the top of the sport. Kingma’s ascendancy was underlined once more at the tail end of last season after she bridged up to the solo Flora Duffy at WTCS Bermuda and helped drive an unforgettable race despite not even being sure she was fit to start.
“That was just amazing. The love for triathlon and for Flora in Bermuda… it makes you fly. That was just a great experience, but my ankle injury needed an MRI scan and showed the tendon over the ankle was a bit damaged and I needed to take 4-6 weeks off running and walking. I’m building it back up but I think it was one of the worst seasons I’ve ever had injury-wise. But still finishing in the top 10 in the World Championships.”
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