The 2014 New Zealand long jump champion Mariah Ririnui has been a consistent performer on the domestic scene for some time. Here the Tauranga Ramblers athlete takes the time to answer our Five Minutes With questions.

What is your best athletics quality?

Self-belief. Ive always believed in myself and my ability, but it has definitely grown over the past six months as Ive made some good improvements in training. Ive also had a couple of big jumps in the past that have been slight fouls, which helps me believe there is still more in the tank.

Why would you encourage anyone to try athletics?

There is something for everyone, no matter what your strength is!

Who was your first coach and how did they influence your career?

My first coach was Mike Corboy. He was a great coach who taught me the sprint basics and enabled me to see the opportunities in the sport. My second coach, Criss Strange, had a huge influence on not only my athletics career but also on my studies and work life too. Criss was supportive of my goals on and off the track, which Ill always be thankful for.

What are your athletics weaknesses?

My technique has a lot of lot of room for improvement. Although Ive been jumping for many years Im still learning so much, especially under my current coach, Gary Bourne. At the moment, Im working on my transition to take-off and hitting good angles and

body positions at take-off.

What is your favourite athletics session?

Jumps sessions. Short approach jumps, hopping and bounding are a lot of fun. Also, short, fast reps like flying 30s.

What is the greatest thing you witnessed in an athletics stadium?

I competed at a meet in Los Angeles, where I watched the womens 100m. In the fastest heat Carmelita Jeter (the 2011 world champion) ran 10.64 seconds! It was eye-opening to watch one of the worlds fastest women up close.

Who has been your toughest rival?

My good friend Kelsey Berryman. Weve been competing against each other since we were 12 years old and became close friends after going to the Oceania Champs in 2011. Its great because I know that she trains hard and when shes at her best it brings out the best in me, so when we compete together its always going to be a good competition.

If you could star in another sport, which sport would it be?

Id love to give track sprint cycling a go. Sometimes I train inside the Cambridge Velodrome where the New Zealand sprint cyclists train. I think the power aspect of the sport would appeal to me.

When travelling to a meeting what is the most important item in your suitcase?

Apart from my spikes, it would be MatchFit Toolbox roller balls and bands. Theres nothing worse than your body feeling all jammed and tight, so these are important to help me loosen up during warm ups.

What is your greatest regret?

Not listening to my body well enough. Ive had days where Ive turned up to training with aches and pains but was convinced I could push through and get the session done. Ive learned, sometimes this isnt the best thing to do and I possibly could have avoided some injuries if I had just listened to my body and taken the rest I needed.

Who is the person who most admire?

Im inspired by so many Kiwi athletes and are good people too like Eliza McCartney, Tom Walsh and Sarah Cowley.

What are you most scared of?

A career-ending injury!

What is your favourite movie and why?

La La Land - a great story about chasing your dreams. I also love musicals

When was the last time you looked at your athletics medals?

I live with my distance-runner boyfriend, Aaron Pulford, and all of our medals are hanging up on the wall, so we see them every day.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Athletics New Zealand