ACT News

Emma Carney devastated by death of friend and rival, Jackie Fairweather

They were part of a great Australian sporting rivalry, but former world triathlon champion Emma Carney says she's devastated by the sudden death of close friend, Canberra's Jackie Fairweather. 

Carney and Fairweather (nee Gallagher) were part of Australia's female domination of international triathlon in the 1990s, the pair combining with Michellie Jones and Loretta Harrop to win six world championships in that decade.

Fairweather broke through and took out the 1996 world title, but also finished with the silver medal three times, including behind Carney in 1997. Carney remembered Fairweather as a "perfectionist" who probably didn't acknowledge how great her ability was.

"I am devastated to hear the news of Jackie," Carney said.

"Jackie was a fierce competitor, a teammate, a coach, a leader and later, a friend.

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"Jackie was a perfectionist and I think perhaps Jackie never really appreciated – or realised -  all that she achieved.  

"It wasn't just the races she won, or the sports she excelled in - Jackie was a pioneer in Australian triathlon coaching and administration. 

"In her own way, Jackie always got things done.

"I will cherish the battles I had with Jackie.

Fairweather was inducted into the Triathlon Australia Hall of Fame in 2012 with Carney and Harrop.

At the time, Fairweather said: "It is a huge honour to be inducted alongside Emma and Loretta. I have great memories of racing them both – two of my greatest rivals.

 "It was such a challenge to try to work out how to beat them. I still have the greatest respect for them both, but these days the relationships are a bit more relaxed and friendly."

Fairweather was the founding head coach of the Australian Institute of Sport's triathlon program from it's inception in 2001 to 2005, where she was integral to the development and success of many of Australia's triathletes.

Fairweather joined the Australian Sports Commission's Innovation and Best Practice program in 2005, where she delivered specialist advice to help boost the performance of elite athletes and teams.

She continued working at the ASC until her death, most recently as performance manager.

Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by phoning Lifeline 131 114; Mensline 1300 789 978; Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

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