Kiwi star Braden Currie set to chase third title at the 40th edition of IRONMAN New Zealand

Kiwi star Braden Currie set to chase third title at the 40th edition of IRONMAN New Zealand

New Zealand triathlon legend Braden Currie will have his sights set on a third title in seven appearances when he lines up for IRONMAN New Zealand in Taupo this weekend.

The 37-year-old, who took home the win in both 2017 and 2021, also finished on the podium on three further occasions, with two third place finishes and a second last year behind Mike Phillips.

Targeting the new IRONMAN Pro Series this season, Currie said that despite the race in Taupo not counting as a point scoring event, the opportunity to race at home was too good to miss.

“I couldn’t say no to racing”

Having made his full distance debut here back in 2017, Currie said he couldn’t turn down the chance to race, meaning he will more than likely race four or five full distance events this season.

Braden Currie is the reigning Nutri-Grain IRONMAN New Zealand champion - Photo Korupt Vision
Braden Currie wins IRONMAN New Zealand in 2021 [Photo credit: Korupt Vision]

“I couldn’t say no to racing IRONMAN New Zealand. It’s probably stupid and I should’ve said no, it’s hard with the whole IRONMAN Pro Series and IRONMAN New Zealand not included in the point system, which means that I’m probably going to be racing four, maybe even five IRONMANs this year.

“That’s asking a lot of me, but I just couldn’t say no at the same time. New Zealand is our home and our home race, and it’s always been the race that got me hooked on IRONMAN in the first place and one that I will continue to keep coming back to for as long as I race professionally.”

“My main goal is to get a Kona slot”

Whilst the chance to win a third title is a huge draw for the New Zealander, the opportunity to tick off his Kona qualification is an even bigger one this weekend.

Braden Currie IRONMAN World Championship 2023 bike leg, Nice, France
Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images for IRONMAN

“Winning the title again is one of my goals, but the main goal is to get an IRONMAN World Championship Kona slot, to be honest.

“It’s definitely early in the season but things have been going really well, so a Kona slot would be nice to tick off this early in the year and winning would be the cherry on top.

“Build-up has been going pretty well and it’s good to see a strong international contingency of athletes on the start line for IRONMAN New Zealand.

It’s the 40th anniversary, so it should be a really good race and to be honest, lots of unknowns in there. I haven’t done a lot of research yet, but a few names that I hadn’t heard of before, so that always makes it exciting.”

Despite the strong field set to line up, Currie said that he plans to stick to his guns and believes a trademark swim-bike combo followed up by a lightning quick run will be his ticket to the win.

“I think a couple of athletes in there will definitely change the dynamics a bit. I think still not a whole lot changes from my race plan, strong swim, strong ride and hope for a really good run. All going well I’ll just stick to my plan and see what they do.”

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