Radford winds up her season with 20th place in Japan | TeamSA - TeamSA

Radford winds up her season with 20th place in Japan

By Mark Etheridge

Australia-based South African triathlete Anel Radford wrapped up her 2016 season with 20th spot at the year’s final World Cup event in Miyazaki, Japan over the weekend.
It was Radford’s third consecutive event on the Asian circuit after races in Hong Kong and South Korea.
The previous two were sprint events but on this occasion it was contested over the Olympic distance – 1,500 metre swim, 40km bike and 10km run. Radford clocked 2hr 04min 09sec as the host nation’s Ai Ueda won in 2:01:02 from the American duo of Summer Cook and Renee Tomlin.
Not happy with her swim at the Korean event on this occasion, it was all systems go for the Sydney-based athlete.
‘I positioned myself much better at the start of the swim this time, so I had clear water and could actually swim (unlike Tongyeong where I was stuck in the middle of a group going nowhere). I kept my position during the two laps and exited nine secs down from the leader.
‘I had to work hard on the first two laps of eight on the bike to secure my place in the front group. The bike was very technical with lots of corners and turns which I loved. Given all the spikes on the bike my legs felt surprisingly good when I started the run.
‘I found a good rhythm and held on to a good position in our group, especially on the windy sections of the course. We were running strong catching athletes up the road.’
But it was then that the previous two weeks’ racing, on top of a long year interrupted by a rib injury, caught up with her.
‘At about the 8km mark I lost contact with the group as my legs pretty much exploded! It was my first Olympic distance race in more than a year, so it probably explains why the last two kilometres hurt so much.
‘It was my third consecutive weekend of racing so recovery was my main priority in the week leading into the race.
‘So, I was happy with my race in Miyazaki. Not because of where I finished but because I executed on a couple of key processes during the race. It was also a small step closer to the form I was in at the start of the season. I knew heading into these three races that I’m still not quite at the level I was at at the start of the season.
‘But I’ve loved racing and competing again and look forward to hopefully a more consistent season of training and racing in 2017.’
Coming up will be a period of recuperation. ‘I’ll have a short holiday now before getting stuck into some good pre-season work.’

Picture: Delly Car/ITU Media