Hayden Wilde, at 19, has an impressive catalogue of sporting success most athletes would be proud of at the end of their careers.

He has four world multisport titles, eight half-marathon victories and 10 national multisport and triathlon titles to his name.

The Whakatane-raised athlete now based in Tauranga has narrowed his focus solely on triathlons - with his goals firmly set on Olympic glory.

Wilde is home after a successful foray to the ASTC Sprint Triathlon Asian Cup in Japan. He competed in three events, finishing seventh in Gamagori, fourth in Osaka and third in Takamatsu against a top-class field.


"For myself starting off in my first international races they are quite significant results. Coming off the off-road and not really having a swimming background until last year, it has been a massive improvement in the swim," Wilde said.

"It is so important in triathlon and so for me coming out just behind the elite pack and sometimes with the elite pack in Japan was a massive step up for myself.

"Asia Cup races are definitely strong with Olympic athletes there from London and Rio so I am pretty happy with the results I came out with."

It was a massive turning point in Wilde's triathlon ambitions as he proved he could take on the best and stay with them to the finish line.

"The big dream was always to go to the Olympics but I couldn't do that doing off-road racing. I met Liz [van Wellie] and Greg [Cummings] and from there started to go on the on-road scene."

At the start of this year Wilde joined forces with renowned running coach Craig Kirkwood.

"I got introduced to coach Craig and so at the start of this year has been my first season doing triathlons. At the moment I think it is going pretty well, apart from a crash in New Plymouth and getting sick in Mooloolaba but that happens.

"I first met [Kirkwood] when he beat me in a half-marathon race in Napier last year. He was a really impressive, gritty competitor and we talked about him moving into triathlons," Kirkwood said.

"His work ethic is unbelievable and his talent is amazing. He is really driven too. He knows what he wants, is prepared to do the work and make sacrifices to get there.

"He eats clean, he doesn't drink and does all the right things, so there are lots of positives there."

While in Japan Wilde spent three days at a high school in Kobe teaching English and tutoring the students on triathlon skills.

It was a memorable experience he hoped to do more of while overseas, with teaching a long-term career goal.

"I was there teaching them what triathlon is and where I have come from. For me it was actually awesome as I want to become a teacher. It was a good insight I guess."

Wilde said without his sponsors Whakatane Cycle Centre, Beyond Fitness NZ, Craig Kirkwood Coaching, Liz van Welie Aquatics, Carrus Corporation and Williams Hotels he would not be able to compete internationally.