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Sanders bruised but will bounce back after WTS crash in Abu Dhabi

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By Mark Etheridge

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Gillian Sanders is living proof that triathlon is not for sissies after crashing out of the first World Triathlon Series (WTS) race in Abu Dhabi on the weekend.
Sanders was part of the South African team that took silver at last year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
And after a great winter camp in Spain she’s been champing at the bit to test herself against the world’s best as this year see’s the all-important ranking points up for grabs ahead of next year’s Rio Olympics in Brazil.
But not this time… after a great swim, she crashed out on the 20-kilometre bike leg and her race was run – and the dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish) posted alongside her name in the official race results.
Back at home in London after her tarmac experience, she was philosophical about the experience.
‘ I’m happy to say that I’m fine. I had a great swim and was in the main pack out water ahead of Gwen Jorgensen, the eventual winner,’ she told Road to Rio 2016. Jorgensen won in 58min 59sec. Both Sanders and Jorgensen were credited with a time of 10:08 for the 750m swim.
‘Run wise I know I’m in the shape of my life so it was devastating to crash. Now I’m going do a Euro Cup race in Portugal in two weeks then the next big one is Cape Town in April where I’ll hopefully be making amends for this recent misfortune.’
Remembering the crash, she said: ‘I crashed going round one of the dead turns – it might’ve been sand on the road but I’m not 100% sure. It was kind of weird…the wheel just slipped out.’
Sanders remains full of confidence ahead of the season. ‘I know I’m in great run shape as I’ve run some cross-country races over winter and been on the heels of some very good Great Britain athletes.
‘Anyway… this will all serve as fuel for the next race!’


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