By Mark Etheridge
Just as Henri Schoeman was unable to defend his national triathlon title recently, our two-time Olympian, Kate Roberts suffered the same fate.
Schoeman suffered an ankle injury while training in New Zealand for the build-up to the East London event while Roberts picked up a foot injury.
The injury came at a bad time for Roberts, now based in Pretoria, as her training had been going well.
“I was so excited to race SA Champs as I was really confident with the improvements I’d been making in training. But then I suddenly got a sore left foot after a hard running session,” said Roberts, pictured right. I just thought I’d irritated the foot after pushing too hard so I rested the next day. But it was still sore that day and the next.”
It was then that she decided to call for expert help. “I went to see Dr Strauss at the High Performance Centre and a scan showed that there was actually a fracture,” she told Road to Rio 2016 this week.”
It was that moment she knew her nightmare had come true. “It’s meant no running for the past four weeks and sitting in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for two hours a day to speed up the healing process.”
But despite having to put her feet up and rest, Roberts remains as determined as ever. “I really want to race African Championships in Troutbeck, Zimbabwe next weekend and then obviously the World Triathlon Series in Cape Town at the end of the month.
“It’s been heartbreaking not running as its my most loved discipline in triathlon but hopefully having being forced to concentrate on my swimming and cycling legs will see that fitness carry over and help my running.”
And Roberts realises that she’s also learnt another valuable sporting lesson. “Being injured is part of an athlete’s life and something unfortunate that we have to deal with. I’ve learnt from it and will be careful not to make the same mistake againÔÇª like overdoing the training and ignoring the signs of pain when an injury approaches.”