One of the rising stars of world triathlon, Amelia Rose Watkinson has swapped the rainforests of Thailand for the European beaches this summer.

Born in New Zealand, trained in Asia, Watkinson makes her European competitive debut at Mallorca 70.3 triathlon, followed by Barcelona 70.3 the following weekend and then the European 70.3 championship in Denmark, after a breathtaking 2016 in which she won seven half Ironman races and ended up on the podium 21 times!

“I love to travel and indulge in different cultures,” she says, while training at the BEST Centre in Mallorca. Most recently Watkinson based herself at the Thanyapura Centre in Phuket, Thailand, where she built up a fearsome ability to race in high temperatures – something which may stand her in good stead over here.

Her packed Asian schedule left Watkinson feeling a little flat by the end of 2016, so she’s determined to regain her “sprightliness” and make an impression on the European tour, just as she’s done in Asia. “The pool at the BEST Centre is so beautiful, or you can go for an ocean swim, ride on the quiet roads. And I love the architecture in Mallorca,” says the University of Auckland architecture graduate.

Helping her adjust to the European circuit, teammate at BMC-Etixx triathlon team Emma Pallant (and roommate during their camp in Colonia Sant Jordi) will be one of her closest rivals in some of the races. “Energies are contagious” is one of her favourite mottos, and there are few more energetic people than Emma.

“I hope we can share out the podium spots between us,” says Watkinson generously.

It promises to be a dramatic season, as the two friends battle for superiority in the sun.