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Olympian Roberts runs her eye over SA’s women at WTS event
- Updated: May 5, 2015
Kate Roberts is a two-time Olympian having donned the green and gold in both Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
These day’s she’s a retired Olympian, instead concentrating on nurturing upcoming talent at Pretoria’s High Performance Centre.
She still took time out to attend the Cape Town leg of the World Triathlon Series late last month. This after she had missed 2014’s inaugural event due to injury.
The 31-year-old tells Road to Rio 2016’s Mark Etheridge what she thought of the elite women’s race.
‘It was with mixed feelings that I watched and supported the World Triathlon Series race in Cape Town. While I am at peace and happy with life as a retired professional triathlete, I did feel disappointment that I was never able to ever race a World Triathlon Series race in my home county and in the beautiful Mother City (In 2014 I unfortunately was forced to withdraw due to a stress fracture in my foot).
‘It was however a spectacular race for the crowds to watch for both the mens and women’s races.
‘The conditions for ladies were not favourable but our ladies fought hard the entire way. Mari Rabie was the best of the South African ladies and ended up 25th of 50 competitors. With a strong swim/bike combination Mari always sets herself up for a strong overall position and having been ill for most of 2014 she has made a remarkable comeback. I believe with a few more race under her belt she will continue to climb the rankings and improve on her running ability for higher positions in the World Triathlon Series races.
‘Gillian Sanders was unfortunate with a puncture during the race but showed true grit and determination by changing her wheel at the wheel stop and continuing to race even though she must have been bitterly disappointed and was not going to be able to contend for a favourable position.
‘Vicky van Merwe endured a terrible transition 1, which ended her hopes of a good race. She too fought hard to finish the race despite the setback and I am sure she will now understand the importance of practising transitions (the fourth discipline in triathlon).
‘Carlyn Fischer was also very unlucky and came down in a crash in the chase pack, she too tried to finish the race but due to a sore back was forced to withdraw.
‘Anel Radford had a solid race and managed to end 36th, I don’t believe she swam to her full potential and also struggled in transition 1 due to the cold conditions. If she had swum five seconds quicker and been able to have a smooth transition 1, she would have been much further up the field with a better result. In the end these small and fine details make such a big difference to the overall result.
‘But all in all they fought hard and showed true grit and determination in front of the home crowd. I am positive that with the better funding structures now set up by Triathlon South Africa in the lead up to Rio 2016 and the experience gained at this level, they will all continue to go from strength to strength.’