By Merryn Sherwood on 26/04/13 at 9:58 am
Emma Jackson first came into the ITU spotlight when she won the U23 World Title in 2010, and since then has joined the list of athletes who have claimed that World Championship category and moved on to higher honours. Jackson claimed her first World Triathlon Series podium in an all Aussie, all Emma sweep in Hamburg in 2011, went on to finish fourth in the London test event and then made her Olympic debut in London. Here she takes a few minutes to answer our quickfire questions.
What has been your favourite ITU race so far?
“I’d probably have to say Hamburg, because that’s where I got my first podium in a World Triathlon Series event and I was on the podium with Emma Moffatt and Emma Snowsill, two athletes I’ve always looked up too, so that’s been my favourite ITU race I’ve ever done. It was pretty surreal being there and thinking I was going to overtake Emma Snowsill, but I just remember thinking I just wanted to beat her, I remember it was quite a hard sprint and we really didn’t know who had come second and third when we crossed the line, but it was an amazing feeling just being able to run with them and everything, it was very humbling.”
Tell me about your very first triathlon…
“Well the first one I did was when I was 13 years old, so actually regional championships to try and qualify in a team. I’d pretty much never done any biking before and hadn’t really done much swimming either, I was more focusing on running at that age, and I pretty much didn’t do another one until a year later. I remember pretty much doing the whole bike course in the same gear because my gears were on my downtube, it was a really old and crappy bike I was riding and I didn’t want to take my hands off the handlebars because I was too scared. It was a really hilly loop course. It was actually at a car racing track in Brisbane, it had a really big hill in it, I don’t know how I went up the hill in the same gear, but I somewhere managed to get around and so yeah, it wasn’t the most successful race and I didn’t really catch the bug then, but a couple of years later I did.”
So how did you catch the bug?
“I guess I did like them but I had only done two or three when my current coach saw me at a cross country event that I started to actually try and train for it rather than just go out and do it - so I went out and started to train with him, and I pretty much haven’t looked back since.”
Do you have any special talents outside of triathlon?
“I do enjoy reading and baking quite a bit, it’s always nice to bake and eat some yummy food, so simple things like that.”
Favourite training destination? France, Aix le Bains.
Best holiday destination? Ko Samui, Thailand.
Do you have a favourite motivation song? I don’t really listen to music.
Favourite blowout food? Icecream.
Best coffee? I drink water, or I might get a hot chocolate.
What’s the number one triathlon tip you would give to age-group athletes?
“I guess one thing is important in ITU racing is your transition, so it’s always important to practise your transitions, and just by practising them you can make up vital seconds and as any athlete know, if you take an extra few seconds in transition you might miss the first back on the bike and then your day is pretty much over. So praticisng transition is an important one.”
In five years time where would you like to be?
“I would like to be an Olympic gold medallist or a World Champion in five years time, I’ll definitely still be doing the sport - I’ll only be 26 years old, so not too old to be in it and hopefully I’ll have some achievements under my belt.”