Baulkham Hills athlete Emir Mujcinovic has qualified for the prestigious Ironman World Championship in Hawaii.
This followed a strong performance in the Cairns Ironman in June, which was Mujcinovic's first full length ironman — a 3.8-kilometre swim, 180-kilometre bike ride and full marathon run.
He completed the course in nine hours and 15 minutes, enough for 19th place overall and second in his age group.
Mujcinovic, 34, who competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the canoe slalom, said he was happy with his performance considering the strength of the field.
"I got a feeling of racing the pros, there was somewhere between 30 and 50 of them there, so I was still mixed in with them," he said.
"I've been consistent: I ran Canberra and Port Macquarie half distances and came top-20 in both."
Now, looking forward to the big race, he has reset his goals to match the extreme environment and new experience for his body.
"It will be my second Ironman so I can't set really big expectations," Mujcinovic said.
"I would be happy to be somewhere under 9 hours 30 minutes — placings aren't as important for me."
"When I did my Olympics I thought this was it — I wouldn't have a chance to do my other dream of Hawaii — because I had a mortgage, a daughter was born. But I did triathlons for fun," he said.
About a year ago Mujcinovic quit his full-time job to work at Peletone, which has afforded him the opportunity to train and race more seriously in the lead-up to the world championships.