Kira Gupta-Baltazar Represents Canada at World Triathlon
During the second week of September, Grade 11 student, Kira Gupta-Baltazar, represented her country at the World Triathlon Grand Finals in Gold Coast, Australia. After coming down with a bug only a few days before the event, she still finished 30th to complete her first-ever season of Triathlon.
Kira and her Team Canada teammates arrived a week before the race to train and acclimatize, but she unfortunately fell ill during that time and had to be quarantined. Her team contemplated not letting her race, but Kira was determined to make it happen. “I ended up racing and was third coming out of the water; I stayed with the lead pack on the bike, but then the run came and my lack of calories caused me to burn out.” She ended up finishing 30th out of 60 participants.
Having to mentally prepare for the race as she was stuck in a hotel room was not easy. “I did a lot of stretching, as well as homework. My mom also told me not to feel badly for myself, just mentally prepare to race.”
Overall her sickness didn’t damper the trip. “It was a good experience, I met a lot of the older athletes and Team Canada coaches who offered me great advice.”
Kira hopes to compete at Worlds again next year in Lausanne, Switzerland with the help of her coach Barrie Shepley (former coach of Olympic Gold Medal Winner, Simon Whitfield). Her weekly training routine is quite vigorous and includes a varied amount of running, biking and swimming in different intervals daily.
Earlier this summer, Kira competed in the Ontario Summer Games Triathlon in London, Ont. where she finished 1st in the individual event and relay, and went on to finish 11th at the Montreal Sprint Triathlon American Cup later in August. Her typical race distance is 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run.
At CDS, Kira is a member of the High Performance Phys-Ed Program where she takes advantage of scheduling accommodations (for provincially and nationally ranked athletes), which helps her to balance her demanding training schedule.
In addition to her rigorous triathlon training, Kira is also a member of the CDS Cross-Country and Track & Field teams. In Grade 10 she placed 15th at OFSAA in Junior Girls’ X-C, and 7th at OFSAA in the Junior Girls’ 3000m. We wish her all the best for this upcoming season as she competes at the Senior level!