Rising star Kate Waugh signs with On

British triathlon phenom Kate Waugh is the latest addition to Team On. As a child, the 24-year-old from Newcastle explored multiple sports like swimming, field hockey, and gymnastics but found triathlon early. 

Kate said: “I’ve always been super active, and my parents signed me up to an athletics club (Gateshead Harriers) when I was an U11, and I started competing then. I was doing triathlon as my ‘summer sport’ at the same time and had a lot of success through that as well. I did my first triathlon when I was eight years old and was absolutely hooked. I’ve done triathlon every year since, and here I am now!”

Waugh’s first major success came in her first international appearance: She won her first European title as part of the British youth women’s relay squad at the European Youth Relays in 2014 when she was just 15 years old. In the following decade, Waugh went from strength to strength: She collected another European gold medal, this time with the mixed junior relay in Lisbon in 2016. In 2017, she became the individual European Junior Champion in Kitzbühel and the runner-up World Junior Champion in Rotterdam.

Progressing in her career, Waugh learned from all her victories but even more from the defeats.

She said: “I learn something from every race I compete in. I look at what went wrong and what I can do to improve on these mistakes next time and make sure I don’t repeat them during the most important races. I’ve also learned that being consistent throughout your training phases will directly lead to great results. It’s not about being excellent in one session but being average every day.”

Earning her first wins on the world stage took a little longer, but Kate Waugh claimed two of them in 2022. She was part of the British mixed relay quartet that took a surprise gold at the World Triathlon Championship Series in Hamburg in July. The then 23-year-old ended the year by being crowned the U23 World Champion at the World Triathlon Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi.

After her great 2022, Kate Waugh decided to put her psychology studies at the University of Leeds on hold to focus on her career fully. She made the switch to coach Paulo Sousa’s international squad based in Monto Gordo, Portugal for the 2023 season. 

The decision continues to bear fruit: Waugh’s first World Triathlon Championship Series top-five result followed in May 2023, and she finished in a strong seventh place at the Paris 2024 Test Event punching her ticket to the highlight of the 2024 season. A great season wound down with a silver in the mixed relay Paris Test Event, a Super League victory in Toulouse, and a fantastic second place at the World Triathlon Championship Grand Final in Pontevedra, Spain where Waugh only had to concede defeat to world champion Beth Potter.

Beyond racing, the 24-year-old has an appreciation for well-designed things.

She added: “Outside of training, I love dressing well. I love combining clean aesthetics with functionality, classy and sporty looks – one reason I’m excited to work with On. I think they do this so well. I love knowing I’m the best-dressed person on the track and in the fastest shoes, so this was a match made in heaven.”

“Kate is a complete athlete and has a passion for this sport, which will make her go far. We are very confident that she is going to be a superstar who can be on the podium in the Olympic Games as well as the World Championships in the Elite category in the future. She is already leaving her marks on the Olympic distance and partnering with her now is the right moment for support, as we want to offer that extra bit she may need when it comes to gear,” said Maria Ortega, On Athlete Partnership Manager Triathlon. “We are looking forward to the journey with her.”

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