By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s Anel Radford’s comeback from a long and painful rib injury gained momentum in Hong Kong at the weekend.
The Australia-based triathlete took fourth spot in the ASTC Asian Cup sprint event.
She clocked 66min 16sec for the 750-metre swim, 20km cycle and 5km run.
First was Macau’s Long Hoi in 65:39 with Kiwi Elise Salt (65:39) and Aussie Brittany Dutton (66:14) making up the first trio across the line and meaning Radford was just two seconds off the podium.
Radford was first out of the water, her bike leg (33:50) was fourth fastest and her run of 19:24 sixth fastest in the field.
‘I had a pretty big lead out of the swim. It was big enough to hold off a chase pack for almost 8km on the bike,’ said Radford, now in Korea ahead of her next race.
‘I’ve raced in Hong Kong before; its a great race to be part of and I love the vibrant city. I was happy with how I executed on the swim and parts of the bike and run.
‘The run was close and technical and I ended up fourth in a sprint finish. It was great to toe the start line again for the first time since April and do what I love. This year hasn’t been kind to me. Broken ribs during the swim in two consecutive races at the start of the season ruled me out of racing for most of the season.
‘With the ribs healing and my movement patterns returning to normal, I managed to get a lot of good work done towards the end of my time in the Basque country of Spain and during our three-week training camp in Florida.
‘Although I missed out on a lot of racing this year, being part of a competitive daily performance environment has helped me reinforce the race-specific processes during training. So now I’m in South Korea where I will be racing the Tongyeong World Cup this weekend.
‘In spite of the disruptive season I’ve had, I’m excited to have another opportunity to test myself and my current form under the pressures of racing.’
Pic of Radford in Hong Kong action courtesy of Danny Chon Photography