The 2018 ITU World Triathlon Montreal event is the penultimate race of the 2018 WTS season. So, as the elites get ready to race the historic French-Canadian city on Saturday and Sunday, we took some time with some of the athletes to talk about how they feel going into the weekend at the second-to-last WTS press conference of the year!
How do you deal with the pressure of getting back on the Montreal podium after your success here the last two years?
“It’s actually not too difficult to feel the pressure as the defending Montreal Champion because I am probably not the biggest leading favourite going into the race. I am not currently vying for the World Title given my current rankings in the Series. So I think that that the pressure will be more on a couple of the other girls, the 1,2,3 who are in a great t position. I would love to be where I was last year coming into this race with a better World Series rankings, but the sport has its ups and downs so I am just not at the top of the rankings this year. But that still won’t deter me from giving it my all each race that I have an opportunity to race at.” /em>
How have you enjoyed your experience in Montreal the last two years?
“My experience in Montreal has been incredible. When I first came here in 2016 for the World Cup, I was incredibly blown away from the support from the locals and the organization, just everything. It was so great to see so many people down at the port, so I knew that coming back last year for the WTS it was going to be even bigger and better. I wasn’t disappointed to see that it was well run again with a lot of spectators supporting us, which makes a big difference. It made my first WTS win even more special I think.”
Your debut WTS win was in Montreal last year, but you were very sick before the race. Redescribe that experience:
“Last year in Montreal it just was one of those things where I obviously picked up something on the travel over here, I remember going to see the ITU doctor and said that it looked like I had laryngitis, but it wasn’t dangerous for me to start, so it was my decision. Before the race it was really tough, because obviously the preparation in the last few days going into the race wasn’t great. But I just went into it with an attitude or how I had nothing to lose, I didn’t really think about anything or overthink anything. That was a massive advantage for me because I just went in and then made it into the front group to be in a position where I knew I could win. I still had to run 10km against some of the best athletes in the world, but I put myself in that position and it was a massive turning point in my career. Not just physically, but mentally as well, I learned a lot from that race and it is something I will carry with me for a long time. It was a very memorable experience.”
You had such a strong start to the season, how are you feeling now after taking some time off?
“It was a very strong start to the season. The goal of the year was the Commonwealth Games, so to be able to come away with a win in that I feel like the year has already been successful for me. For the rest of the year it has been a lot more relaxed. I am not too focused on performances in the WTS. It hasn’t been that great for me, for the last couple of months I actually spent some time at home a little longer than expected because I had some issues with illness and also two injuries that I picked up. It was a very nice time to spend some time at home and just think about what I have achieved this year with Abu Dhabi and also the Commonwealth Games. So then got back into training, regrouping, refocusing and now I have come here to Montreal in very good shape, my mind is ready to race again, so I am very excited for a good race.”
This will be your first time racing in Montreal, how do you prepare for the course?
“You basically are looking at the course in the beginning of the season and I was lucky enough to be at home to prepare for this race. I knew it was going to be quite warm, not extreme heat, but warm. Durban, my hometown in South Africa, is generally quite warm in the winter, so fortunately I had that. The course is not that demanding from what I see, there is a bit of a hill during the run from what I have studied from last year’s race. You might try and prepare for a few of these things like maybe adapting some hills into your training, but I normally try to train as hard as I can because the training stays the same. The principle stays the same.”
You are quite young, 21 years old and this will be your first WTS race. Are you excited?
“I benefit from a lot of support from my family. I live a little more north in Quebec, where it is a little bit colder than here in Montreal. That can be challenging but by having a lot of support from my family, everything goes really well. I am really excited to be entering this race for the very first time.”
You have overcome a large obstacle in your life, how has triathlon helped you?
“When I was a child I was diagnosed with dyslexia and told I would never be able to finish my studies. But I perserviered. I then started to train in Triathlon and actually just completed the first cycle of University and received my diploma. I had to be persistent. Triathlon brought me a lot and it helped me a lot with my focus and accomplishment.”
|Results: Elite Men|