If Wian Sullwald (Tuks/HPC) could have just one wish grated in 2016 it would be to stay healthy and injury free… or at least until after the Olympic Games in Rio.
With his sixth-place finish in last year’s World Series race in Edmonton, Canada the 22-year-old proved that he is without doubt a talented triathlete. But, unfortunately, it seems as if ‘Lady Luck’ has singled him out for some personal attention.
He was supposed to compete at the ITU World Series Event in Abu Dhabi over the weekend but had to withdraw on Monday due to a small tear in his cruciate ligament.
Last year Sullwald also had to withdraw from the Abu Dhabi race because of knee problems. Needless to say that he is very frustrated.
‘My training has been going well but during the last two weeks I could feel that something was not quite right when I was running. I kept hoping that it would get better but it was not to be. On Saturday, after a quality training session, I knew I was in trouble.
‘The doctor confirmed my worst fears. He told me I’d be foolish to compete in Abu Dhabi.He said there was a real risk that it could mean the end of my career as a triathlete if the tear in the ligament went any further.
‘There are no words to describe my frustration and disappointment. I was hoping that after all my bad luck last year I would have at least one season without being consistently hampered by injuries. But that seems not to be, so I’ll simply have to grin and bear it.
‘But I can assure you of one thing. With every setback my hunger to succeed just gets bigger and bigger.’
Sullwald hopes that aggressive rehabilitation during the next two weeks will enable him to compete at the African and South African Championships.
‘Luckily I’m still able to cycle and swim, so I won’t lose too much of my general fitness.’
Picture of Sullwald courtesy of Reg Caldecott