Saturday, 14 September 2013

London Under 23 World Championships


London Under 23 World Championships

Once a year, there is a race with this fancy title - world championships. My third time representing Australia, it is always such an honour and pride to be wearing the green and the gold. I have been very lucky over the last few years with the other girls getting picked being my other training partners or often known as the “Wollongong wizards”. Vitoria has been a perfect lead up environment with everyone developing a focus to be the world’s best. Leading up London, I had a solid race the French GP in Sartrouville placing 2nd. This gave me great confidence in my racing with a breakaway of four of us , gaining 2 mins before the run. Coming down to a sprint finish, I just didn’t have the last kick in the last few metres but none the less, it was an exciting and challenging racing. I knew all year, gaining strength in one discipline sometimes means it affects the strength of another. The opportunities that I have had this year to develop my races to world class have been fundamental to where I am now. Racing the best girls in the world shows me where I am relative to others which motivates and makes me determined for the future as an elite rather than a under 23.

 


 

A perfect situation would have been a small break off the front for the whole race, with big enough gap that it wouldn’t depend so much on my run. Ideally..Nerves settled in well and truly and I knew what I had to do to give me the best chance of winning. “Swim like the boat sunk, bike like you stole it and run for your life”. Knowing that the left side was significantly shorter than the right, being second onto the pontoon I had a lot of choice to where I started and not dependent on others.  The water, a fresh 15 degrees, I was telling myself “swim as fast as you can to the first buoy”.  I had a good start and got straight on the feet of one of the Canadian girls. I lost contact with feet for the first lap but kept relaxed and thought about proc esses. By the end of the first lap, a small gap had been created and I knew now would be the time to get on it. Swimming on feet is much easier than swimming by yourself. The swim was hard but I knew I put myself in good position from the start. Lucy Hall had 30 seconds on us by the end of the swim and knew the first part of the bike would be crucial.

 
The first lap of the bike, I rode with one other girl with the knowledge that one girl was up the road and we had 40 or so seconds on the next group major group. Having a smaller field means there are less links in the chain. By the start of the second lap the majority of the field were in our group with the aim to catch Lucy Hall up the road. The road was damp and following good wheels was important. My legs have definitely felt better in previous races and I was cautious in over riding as there wasn’t any benefit riding hard on the front. By the 2nd last lap we caught Lucy Hall and everyone relaxed with the pace dropping. I have made the mistake too many times this year, letting everyone get infront of me in the last lap and I lose my position before getting into T2.

 

 

Starting the run it was just a massive group of us, running up the rise to the u turn. Unfortunately on the way back down, I lost contact with the group and found myself in a group of four. If I can take anything from my run, it is that I kept in contact with the group of four the whole way but just had nothing to give.  The final straight came up fairly quick and the legs just didn’t want to sprint. Finishing in 14th it was definitely not what I wanted in London . Although things didn’t go to plan and I didn’t reach the expectations that I set for myself, I stayed upright, I am not injured and I can take many positives from the race. As some would say “I am a work in progress”.  

What can I say? I have learnt so much this year from training, racing and the people around me that not only have I grown as an athlete but a person. The opportunities that are given to me to train in such a high quality environment and be coached by Jamie Turner are something I have very privileged to be in. Jamie always looks out for the best for us, trying new things and helping us develop into elite athletes. Sometimes I wonder why we do things but I have total trust in what he does as my coach and like being challenged in our daily environment. I can look back three years ago as a junior in Beijing and see how much influence Jamie has helped grow from then to now. Training is made much easier with three other girls that made the team with me and what a show you all put on Thursday with Charlotte being the new Under 23 World Champ. Also a massive thanks to Gwen Jorgensen for being an amazing training partner, friend and next door neighbour this year. Words can’t say how grateful we are for having you in our group. Thanks to all the service provides from Triathlon Australia, Victor, Amelia and Alex for massage for the past few months. Thanks Bernard for getting me the opportunity to race in Under 23s in London and the chance to perform throughout the year.  Even though they are thousands of km’s away, my family are awesome and could not be any more supportive with what I do. The season isn’t just over yet with another month in Europe and two more races to go. Looking forward to many world championships to come..





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