Mr Martin was again invited and sponsored to the race by the Hiroshima New Zealand Friendship Society, which has been a big supporter of Palmerston North’s developing relationship with the city of Mihara, in Hiroshima Prefecture.
Palmerston North International Relations Manager, Toni Grace, says that the Sagishima Triathlon event is one of many growing connections between Palmerston North and Mihara.
“We were delighted that David was again invited to participate and represent Palmerston North in the Sagishima Triathlon. Our city partnerships are strongest when there are people-to-people links, especially our common love of sports. Palmerston North is an active, sport-loving community, so it's a great way to reflect this in our international relationships.”
Earlier this year a delegation from Palmerston North’s new Japanese partner city Mihara visited here. It was during that visit the Hiroshima New Zealand Friendship Society, extended the invitation to Mr Martin.
During their visit, the delegation was also hosted at Massey University’s Sport and Rugby Institute to hear about some successful sport development initiatives involving the Manawatū Triathlon Club.
Takehisa Tsunose from the Hiroshima/New Zealand Friendship Society was also delighted with Mr Martin's win. “He has performed a big role in the great relationship between Palmerston North and Mihara. We are very proud of him, and so should your city be.”
Mr Martin is in his final semester at Massey University, completing a Bachelor of Business majoring in Finance. As an Academy of Sport athlete, he has balanced both academic and sport studies and was awarded a double Blue by Massey last year for duathlon and triathlon.
Last September he won two medals in the 20-24 age group at the World Championships in the Gold Coast, having finished second in the sprint distance event and third in the standard distance. He's also been training in Europe, recently competing in his first World Cup event in Hungary.