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Sanders takes stock

Olympic triathlon hopeful, Gillian Sanders has put the weekend’s Africa Cup sprint championship race behind her and is focusing on the bigger picture, writes Mark Etheridge.

London based Sanders is bidding for a spot on Team South Africa at the Olympic Games in London later this year and headed back to Africa to race last Sunday’s event at Blouberg, near Cape Town.

She ended up placing ninth, covering the 750 metre swim, 20km bike and 5km cycle in 62min 58sec, 1:37 behind winner Carlyn Fischer.

After having a great time training over the festive season, Sanders was planning to get the pre-season race under her belt as a manner of “waking up” her body to racing again.

But things were a bit rusty, despite having a fine swim and run leg.

Explained Sanders this week: “I had a great swim, was out the water fifth (with Carlyn and the Belgian girl Katrien Verstuyft) but then things went a bit downhill…..my wetsuit got stuck in transition around my one foot… I’m the only one to blame for that, lack of transition practice at this time of the year. So I missed the front pack of the bike (which Carlyn and the Belgian got on) and it was catch up from there onwards.

“I still had the fastest run split so there are positives to take away are that ÔÇô┬ámy form is good and had it not been for that blasted transitionÔǪ”

Sanders is not being overly hard on herself though and is looking at the broader picture. “Rather mess up in a small sprint race like that than a World Cup or something. I was feeling a bit bummed about the whole thing but am over it now, onwards and upwards, it wasn’t an Olympic points race so no point getting worked up.’

Next up for Sanders will be a pre-season race, the SA Champs/African Cup in Port Elizabeth. “Then my season kicks off proper with the first Olympic points race in Mauritius on 31 March.”


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