WEST Australian Kiara Reddingius aspires to be Australia’s number one heptathlete.
She is hoping to achieve this status at the Australian Track and Field Championships in Sydney on March 31-April 3.
From there for the 24-year-old, selection for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are major goals.
While she has not ruled out a late charge to secure selection for this year’s Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, she admits that would be a long shot. Reddingius said heptathletes needed a five-year base in the sport to reach their peak. “I’m a couple of years away from that.”
In the meantime, she is more than happy to enjoy the spoils of winning the $12,500 Ballarat Women’s Gift at the Eastern Oval on Sunday.
Reddingius knows all about winning feature races. She won the 2013 Bay Sheffield Women’s Gift in Adelaide and has been a prolific winner in her home state, as well being the West Coast Athlete League athlete of the year 2014.
Despite her success rate, Reddingius said there was always some risk making a long trip like this, given the cost.
Reddingius ran off 7m to beat home Jessica Payne (8m), with Ballarat’s Kate Jones (9.50m) getting third.
Reddingius reached the Ballarat final two years ago, but missed out on a return visit last year owing to a hamstring injury.
She said Ballarat was like a home away from home. She is coached by Matt Barber, who oversaw the early years of now Ballarat coach Peter O’Dwyer in WA.
Reddingius was one of three WA runners to make the trip to Ballarat – staying with O’Dwyer. She was swamped by members of O’Dwyer’s stable after she crossed the line. “”It’s like having a family here. It’s great to come to Ballarat.”
Reddingius will now return to WA to prepare for the nationals and another visit to the Stawell Easter Carnival.
Reddingius gave notice that she would be hard to beat with wins in her heat on Saturday and semi-final on Sunday. Payne went into the final as the favourite after clocking the fastest time of 14.095 seconds in the four semi-finals. Reddingius eclipsed this comfortably in the final with 13.881.
World junior championship representatives Maddie Coates was run out in the semi-finals.