On an amazing Saturday morning, 11th Feb 2017, at Gunnamatta Bay in Cronulla, Perth Mod Student, Rahul Jegatheva cemented a spot on the Australian team for the World Aquathlon Championships in Canada in August 2017 by putting on a stirring performance at the Australian National Championships while battling it out with 2 adult world champions and a host of professional triathletes
Aquathlon is a subset of Triathlon comprising of just the swim and run disciplines, and for the national titles, the event was a 1km swim followed by a 5km run. Rahul picked up his first ever podium finish at a national championships with a silver medal in the 19 & under category. In the overall race, against all age groups, Rahul finished 4th, behind triple world ironman champion Craig Alexander, reigning World 19&U Triathlon Champion, Nathan Breen and professional triathlete and former national aquathlon champion, Brady Goodyear. A remarkable feat for the youngest competitor of the 150 men in the race.
While he was presented the national Silver Medal in the 19 & U age group with gold going to Nathan Breen, Rahul was 1st in the 16-19 year category under International Triathlon Union age guidelines for qualifying for the 2017 world championships, thrusting him to the top of the national qualifying points table and achieving automatic selection for the World Aquathlon Championships in Pentincton, Canada in August 2017.
The race kicked off in the water, with the 1km swim path lined with yachts and boats as markers instead of the traditional buoys. Some very strong swimmers were in the water, with double defending champion Nathan Breen coming out in front, and the group in 2nd through 7th being within 10 seconds of each other with Rahul tracking in 6th or 7th at the end of the swim. A lightning quick transition on the beach from the swim to run allowed him to move to 5th within 200m of the run start. Both Rahul and Brady Goodyear swept past gun NSW swimmer Jed Boxall in a battle for the podium spot behind the 2 world champions, with Brady proving to be the stronger in the run and Rahul taking a creditable 4th place overall by more than half a minute over 5th and 6th.
“There are so many people I have to thank for helping me get to this point”, Rahul said. “I couldn’t have done this without Ian Mills, my swim coach from Perth City Swim Club, my run coaches, Grant Landers and Mike Bosch. It’s an amazing feeling and I am looking forward to representing my country at the world championships”