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Olympic Experience and Race Report by Emma Davis


from Triathlon Ireland Website To find out from Emma about how she went in Beijing, please read on….. Race Report from Emma Davis
Today is my last full day out here in the Olympic Village. I fly back tomorrow morning to Dublin with the rest of the Irish team. I have had a wonderful time, met lots of amazing people and learnt a great deal.

The training camp in Matsue, Japan went very well. The facilities were great and Richard and I got a good block of training in. The weather was also good, mid 30s everyday. As a result I headed over to Beijing knowing I could have done no more to prepare myself.

A few days before we flew I crashed my bike and damaged two of the joints in my back, this affected my glute and although the physios worked hard to fix it there was not enough time and the best I could do was to put it out of my head. Luckily during my bike warm up it didn’t flare up so I was happy enough on the start line.

On race day, the 18th August 2008, I was understandably pretty nervous. The race venue is an hours coach journey away from the village and the only coach left at 7am. I like to have a stretch and run in the morning before breakfast on race day so I woke early at 530am and got on with my pre race routine.

The coach journey was a bit of a hassle but I put some ear plugs in and settled down to sleep for a while. When we arrived at the venue everything ran the same as at a world cup but 15minutes earlier. It was great to have Richard with me until 30 minutes before the race started. He handled everything perfectly, nothing was a problem for him. He knows how I am before a race and is good at controlling my nerves .

We lined up as usual in race number order and were called out onto the pontoon. When the gun went I was pleased and anxious to get going. Initially the swim went well and I was leading for about the first 300m then things started to go downhill. I am not sure why as training had gone really well. I had been doing pb sets in Japan and both Richard and I thought I was in good shape. We have spoken about this since the race and have come up with a few plans to improve my swim and get it back to how it was at the beginning of the season. We will try these out when we return to the UK and see what works.

Never the less I ploughed on and exited the swim with a couple of girls just off the main pack. My transition didn’t go well, the racks were not the usual ones we use in World Cups and my back wheel got stuck, I lost valuable seconds and as a result missed the pack. The girls I had exited the swim with made it in.

On the bike I worked hard and we managed to catch quite a few of the girls in front. My back and glute was a problem but as there was nothing I could do about it I just got on with the race and ignored it as best I could. Onto the run I had a good transition and lead my pack out. About 1500m per lap of the run was on blue matting, under the matting was a temporary metal platform. This reflected the heat and a thermometer read 47 degrees!!! I felt pretty bad on the run after working hard on the hilly bike course – as I’m sure did everyone else.

After the race lots of athletes were being stretchered off and 20% of the field didn’t finish. I finished 5 places above my ranking which although I obviously wanted more is not a bad result for my first year as a fulltime athlete.

I am taking a little break now and letting my body recover. I have pushed it hard this year and picked up a few injuries which I have been managing, now is a good time to get over them. Hopefully it won’t take too long and I will be back for a few more races before the season is over.

Thank you all for the support and good luck emails you sent me, I did the best job I could and will be back in 4 years time fitter and ready for another shot.