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Roberts repairs at home

By Mark Etheridge

Our top ranked triathlete Kate Roberts has had a wretched start to her international season and is back in South Africa to recover and re-group for her European campaign.

Ranked seventh in the world at the end of last year, Roberts started the year with her Aussie training squad in Canberra. She took part in two races, ending 30th in Moololaba and then 54th in the first ITU World Championship Series race in Sydney last weekend.

In the build-up to the first race she had been suffering from a severe head-cold and then chest infection. She then resorted to a course of antibiotics before tackling he second race but they clearly had little effect.
Roberts and coach Darren Smith then decided that rest was the way ahead and she’s now back in Bloemfontein.

“I have not had the best start to my year and I’m very disappointed and gutted to say the least. I think I just underestimated how sick I actually was and I was in complete denial with regards to my chest infection. I always tried to remain positive and convince myself that I was going to be okay but in hindsight I was clearly not.

“We did a bout of blood tests and my immune system was unfortunately completely run down. So I have been ordered to rest for a whole week and then I will be able to get back into training, obviously building my training as we go.

“It’s been a great learning curve for me none the less and I have a feeling, I will look back on this time and know that everything happened for the best.”

Roberts, a member of SASCOC’s OPEX programme for possibly London 2012 Olympic medallists, will remain at home for about five weeks and then heads to her European base in Davos, Switzerland for the European summer. It is onwards and upwards from here and my next race will be the Madrid World Championships Series race on 5 June.”

Coach Smith’s take on his charge: “We had her back to the docs and on antibiotics after the first race because her health had gone from bad to worse and it didn’t help enough. In hindsight, we should not have raced her and I take full responsibility for it. Racing within a week or so of antibiotics works for some athletes, but clearly not Kate…and we had no way of knowing because this was the first real episode of sickness we have had to deal with for her.

“We’ll have her back, healthy and fit again in about 6-8 weeks.”


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