By Mark Etheridge
Gill Sanders is still revelling in her fourth spot at the World Cup triathlon series in Japan recently but is already focusing on her bid to make Team South Africa for the London Olympics.
She placed fourth in Ishigaki recently, clocking 2hr 06min 30sec in the 1500-metre swim, 40km cycle and 10km run.
“The race was great. I love racing in Japan and I went there very motivated to make amends for my very average result in Sydney (even though I was the first South African,” she told Road to London 2012 from her base in London.
“The conditions were nice and humid which I like and we set off in the afternoon. The swim was in the harbour and I managed to make the front pack of the swim which then set me up for a great race.
“The cycle course was challenging as we had to take in quite a steep bridge from either side seven times.The bike was pretty uneventful, we were a group of about 24 or so. I made sure I positioned myself well going into the second transition and went out in about sixth place.
“Before the end of the first lap I was in fourth. At one stage I passed the girl in third but she then passed me, I tried to stay with her but just couldn’t, missing out on a podium finish but still a very decent result and the best result in a World Cup by a South African woman in two years.”
And 30-year-old Sanders is in a good space right now. “As the season progresses I’m feeling stronger and stronger and only expect to do better. I’m really really happy with this result and it gives me a lot of confidence for my upcoming races in Mexico and the USA.”