Athletes Women › Nicole Van Der Kaay
While Hayden Wilde has been lighting up the triathlon scene for New Zealand’s men, Nicole Van Der Kaay has been leading the way for the Kiwi women and is an exciting prospect as she readies herself for a Super League debut.
The best placed New Zealander in the last three major Games including the Commonwealths (2018 and 2022) and last year’s Olympics, Van Der Kaay also secured a runner-up spot behind Germany’s Laura Lindemann in the World Triathlon Championship Series in Hamburg last year. Making that podium she describes as “surreal” particularly because the return of crowds after Covid made for an “epic race experience.”
Growing up in Taupo, Van Der Kaay was involved in surf lifesaving as a youngster and “took to it like a duck to water” according to her father John. Her potential for multisport was evidenced by winning an age-group aquathlon world title in Auckland as a teenager.
John has been more than a loyal supporter through Van Der Kaay’s rise. During lockdown, with public pools closed, along with her brother, John built a homemade swimming pool with a tarpaulin and bungee cord to help the 26-year-old prepare for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. It even had a filtering system that allowed the water to be heated by sunlight.
Van Der Kaay started 2022 with a win on home soil in New Plymouth and then second place a fortnight later in Taupo. It was a particularly busy July, competing over two days of action in the individual and then mixed relay events in Hamburg, followed by placing ninth in the individual event and fourth in the mixed team relay in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. It was a second Commonwealth Games appearance after picking up a bronze medal in the mixed relay with teammates Andrea Hewitt, Tayler Reid and Ryan Sissons on Gold Coast in 2018, having placed seventh in the individual competition.
Outside of triathlon, she is a fan of New Zealand rockers Six60, and the US cop-comedy show set in New York, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. A keen photographer and artist, she also loves a family BBQ and is more than adept at baking her own sourdough.
Results posted shortly after the race may contain errors.
RR - Race Ready | TBD - To Be Determined | DNS - Did Not Start | DNF - Did Not Finish
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