Saturday 27 May 2017

Reid hopes top-ten finish can cure London ills

Ireland's Aileen Reid Picture: Sportsfile
Ireland's Aileen Reid Picture: Sportsfile

Barry Lennon

Aileen Reid gave up teaching PE to become a full-time athlete but says that learning hasn't stopped since she left school.

The Derry woman claims that one of her biggest lessons was at London 2012, where her triathlon hopes were dashed by a crash during the 40km bike leg.

Reid finished 43rd in that Olympics which was particularly disappointing, given that she was ranked seventh going into the Games.

"I've learned a lot since then, especially how to come back from something like that. This time I've done a full four years run-up," she recalls.

The 34-year-old picked herself up after her disastrous first Olympic result, managing to collect World Series silver in 2013.

Bad luck has continued to follow in the past four years, though, with Reid suffering a recurring chest infection which finally shifted in March.

There was a changeover to overcome as she parted with her Australian coach Darren Smith for former coaching team of Tommy Evans and Chris Jones - something she "didn't take lightly".

She hopes to improve Ireland's fortunes when taking to the start line at 3.0pm today after Bryan Keane's 40th finish in the men's event on Thursday.

"I know that I am capable of being among the top ten because that's my average over the past three years but that's not to say I am not capable of better," she says.

"People assume it's exciting to be at the Olympics and it is, but it's also nerve-wracking and scary. It's all those things but I know when I get there I will be relaxed because I will have done all the work and I am definitely looking forward to it."

Irish Independent

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