World Champ Among The Ranks

6 October 2014

North Cantabrian Flight Lieutenant (FLTLT) Liana Costello-Salt won gold while representing New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) at the recent 2014 Weihai ITU Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in China.

The former student of Villa Maria College and Lincoln University finished first in the 25-29 year-old category of the long distance triathlon. She crossed the line 22 minutes ahead of her closest competitor in just over seven hours, receiving the gold medal on a world stage.

FLTLT Costello-Salt thanks the RNZAF for its support of sport, which she rates as “second to none.”

“I have had nothing but incredible support from my Command and I currently work with an amazing team who get right in behind my sport. This is by far my favourite part of being in the RNZAF. It is something I get to enjoy every single day,” said FLTLT Costello-Salt.

Born and raised in Hawarden, FLTLT Costello-Salt leads a team of 18 people in the supply trade of the RNZAF. They are responsible for looking after all RNZAF second line support equipment. This includes the purchase, maintenance and storage of ground support equipment and safety and surface equipment. 

Her team isn’t the only thing FLTLT Costello-Salt manages. She also has to balance work and training.

“I wake up at 5am every morning to get a decent training session in before the workday then I train again after work. The hardest part of training while in the RNZAF is balancing a busy training schedule with the demands of my career. This was the case before the Taupo Half Ironman last year when I was deployed on Exercise Southern Katipo.”

FLTLT Costello-Salt credits her success on the world stage to her coach, ex-Olympian Sam Warriner.
“Without Sam I would not have been able to physically and mentally compete on a world stage,” she said.

While others relax over the Christmas break FLTLT Costello-Salt will be racing in three half ironman events, Taupo, Tauranga and New Plymouth.

“I am focusing on improving my swimming, which will enable me to become competitive with the professional athletes,” she said.


This page was last reviewed on 9 October 2014.