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Four years on, a different Erica Hawley takes to Pan Am Games start line

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Battling for position: Erica Hawley in her Pan Am Games warm-up race in Brasilia (Photograph by World Triathlon)

Erica Hawley has come a long way in the four years since her last appearance at the Pan American Games.

Disheartened by her finishing position of 21st in Peru in 2019, Hawley admits she was struggling to find enjoyment in the sport at the time, but four years on she has regained her love and it shows in her performances, with a first win at elite level coming in Montreal in July and a spot on the podium in Korea building her confidence.

“I am in a completely different head space than at the last Pan Am games in 2019, when I was really struggling to enjoy the sport,” Hawley said.

“Regardless of my result, I will celebrate how far I’ve come in four years and my own personal growth within the sport, but I am very excited to race at the Pan Am Games this year.”

Hawley raced in Brazil a couple of weeks ago in preparation for this event and feels that race was a perfect warm-up for the big end-of-season assignment.

Momentum building: Erica Hawley is determined to build on a positive season

“After Brasilia, I returned back to Boulder [United States] for two weeks in order to optimise my preparation and be in my routine,” she said.

“This race has been targeted as an A race for a while now, and I used Brasilia as somewhat of a warm-up. I more or less trained through Brasilia, with only a short taper and a really short trip in and out.

“This year has been a balance between racing, and making sure I am getting enough training in so Jess [Broderick, coach] and I have to prioritise which races I can fully target.

Hawley now feels she deserves her place among the elite women at world level and believes that on a good day she could be in the hunt for a medal.

“It’s very encouraging to see myself maintaining good form,” she said.

“I am getting more consistent at World Cup level and I am way more of a player in the field. My coach, Jess, and I focus on being consistent and “robust” in training and this is showing in my racing.

“My expectation for the Pan Ams is to continue on this trajectory and execute a race that reflects my training.

“I have probably raced everyone in the field, and a lot of them also raced in Brasilia, so I have a good indication of who is racing well and what tactics might come into play.

“The course has its challenges with a hilly and technical section on the bike, and really cold temperatures in the water.

“There are some really strong women who are racing at the WTCS level and consistently on the podium,so I’m sure it will be a tough and honest race. However, with my podium at a World Cup in Korea, I believe that on a given day I am a contender for a medal and I am confident in myself.”

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Published November 01, 2023 at 7:57 am (Updated November 01, 2023 at 8:24 am)

Four years on, a different Erica Hawley takes to Pan Am Games start line

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