Belfast Telegraph

Brilliant Aileen has Games gold in sight

Aileen Reid underlined her position as one of the world's top triathletes by finishing second in the World Series Triathlon Grand Final in London, making her a favourite for Commonwealth Games gold next summer in Glasgow.

It was the best ever result for Ireland in the sport and the race of Reid's life, so far, in a career that is only heading upwards.

The expectations will obviously be raised by this result and one of Reid's goals for next year will be the Commonwealth Games.

"That's going to be a tough race, a lot of the world's best triathletes are from Commonwealth countries," she said.

The Derry woman was strong in all three elements of the race – 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run – and managed to summon the strength for a sprint finish as she ran away from Great Britain's Jodie Stimpson and overtook Emma Moffatt from Australia, both training partners of Reid, to clinch silver behind Britain's Non Stanford who won the race and with it became World Champion.

After the eight races that spanned the globe from Auckland to San Diego to Yokohama to Madrid and finally London, Reid was eighth in the standings.

"This year I've been consistently consistent and produced a number of top 10 finishes. I've had podium places in world cups so I know what I'm capable of, and I know what I can do. It's all about believing in myself and this was the icing on the cake," she said.

Reid had crashed twice before on the Hyde Park course, including in last year's Olympic final, and with the rain coming down the roads were again slippy. It cost American Gwen Jorgensen her chance to become world champion when she fell on the cycling discipline, an accident Reid narrowly avoided.

"We all knew the problems of that corner at Birdcage Walk but this time I knew the right line to take and when Gwen came off we were all very careful, we were cycling around it like grannies," she said.

"I just wanted the cycle to be over, for the last three laps it was very cold, we were shivering, but when I got on the run I felt good.

"You know you can't go out at the pace that Stanford did so I just sat in there and tried to go a little faster on each of the laps. Going into the last kilometre I wasn't thinking about catching Emma, I was concentrating on trying to get away from Jodie.

"Having trained with these girls I knew how fast they could go.

"I just tried to finish as fast as I could and got second – amazing."

Reid moved to Australia at the start of the year to train with coach Darren Smith and a group of the world's best triathletes just months after getting married.

She added: "It makes all the decisions I made worthwhile. Obviously going to Australia was a big decision to make but training with the girls has made me a different triathlete.

"Its been all about the process of becoming a better swimmer, of knowing where to move in the water if it gets crowded and of becoming more consistent.

"It's been hard at times but it's all came good in the end."

Belfast Telegraph

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