Paris Olympics: Kiwi triathlete Hayden Wilde 'dialed' to build on Tokyo emotion

Tokyo bronze-medalist Hayden Wilde feels better prepared for the upcoming Olympics than his last, with the triathlete determined for 2024 to be the year he becomes the best in the world.  

Wilde is right where he wants to be five months out from Paris.  

"Over the last two years, I've had some great confidence boosters in performance heading into 2024," he said. 

Hamish Wilde captures the world super sprint crown at Hamburg.
Hamish Wilde captures the world super sprint crown at Hamburg. Photo credit: Photosport

Wilde hopes that will see him better his success at Tokyo, where he reached the podium in emotionally charged circumstances.  

"That was for my dad," he wept afterwards. "He passed away 12 years ago, so he's never got to see me race."

Wilde reflects: "I know he was watching me, but he also never got to watch me race ever, so I know he's always watching." 

His father passed away when he was at primary school - a traumatic event that has made him mentally strong for triathlon.  

"I train with a lot of people around the world sometimes, who smash me in training and who are physically bigger than me, but mentally, it's a huge game."  

That mental strength, along with finishing last season with two course records and a world title, has given Wilde, 26, every reason to back himself for Paris.  

The build-up to these Games couldn't be more different.  

"I was stuck in New Zealand for COVID times for Tokyo, so leading into that, my build-up for Paris is going to be a lot more consistent and a lot more dialed." 

Hayden Wilde is on track for something special in 2024.