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Irish Olympic triathletes Aileen Reid and Bryan Keane step up their preparations for Rio

By Jill Goligher

Ireland's Olympic-bound triathletes have insisted they are ready for the big challenge of the Rio Games

Lisburn-based Aileen Reid and Bryan Keane from Cork, are getting ready to depart Ireland for their final preparation races and training camps before they arrive in Rio in August.

With the 2016 Olympics only seven weeks away, the pair are taking part in the Stockholm World Series triathlon on July 2.  They will then form part of a two-man-two-woman Irish team in the Mixed Relay World Championships in Hamburg a fortnight later.

To help acclimatise them to conditions similar to Rio, Reid and Keane will travel to Florida just before the games.

Ranked among the top triathletes in the world, Reid had a disappointing London Games when she crashed at the beginning of the 40km cycle race.  This left her with little chance of achieving her ambition to be among the medal contenders. This time around, the Derry woman says she is older and wiser: "I know I am capable of being among the top 10 because that's my average over the past three years but that's not to say I am not capable of better."

Bryan Keane is making his comeback from a life threatening injury which left him unable to compete for six years.  The 35-year-old was on track to qualify for the London Games when, in late 2010, was knocked off his bike by a car and shattered a knee cap. He stated that this long and sometimes bumpy road to Rio has made him more determined to do his country proud at the Games: "This is the fulfillment of a life long ambition, it's the highlight of any athlete's sporting career. Following my injury, I didn't know whether I would get back or not but I said to myself that I would do everything to make sure I could."

Rio's triathlon course promises to deliver one of the most exciting events of the Games.

The men's final at the Olympic Games takes place on August 18 with the women's final taking place on August 20.

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