NZ's fastest woman Zoe Hobbs has an inspirational message for budding athletes

By Kelvin McDonald

The fastest woman in Aotearoa, Zoe Hobbs (Ngāti Ruahine), only started sprinting in recent years. She is aiming for Commonwealth Games glory when she makes her games debut in Birmingham, England in July.

"In the country, I'm ranked no. 1 at the moment," 24-year-old Hobbs, who was born and raised in Taranaki but now lives and trains in Auckland, told Te Ao Toa.

"I did a lot of sports growing up and actually didn't specialise in athletics until Year 13."

In February, Hobbs set a New Zealand all-comers record of 11.15 seconds in the 100m in Hawke's Bay, and in April secured a 100m gold medal at the Australian championships. She also featured in the quartet which set a New Zealand 4x100m record of 44.05 in Sydney, a profile on the NZ Olympic website says.

"For me, it was important to dip my toes into a lot of different sports to figure out what I actually liked. And I think if I specialised too early I might have got a little bit of burnout in athletics. And it is important to pick up skills in other sports as well." 

Her message to aspiring athletes, "Do what you love," says Hobbs.