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Q&A: Jodie Swallow

  • By Triathlete.com
  • Published Oct 27, 2009
  • Updated Oct 27, 2009 at 4:40 PM UTC

Photo: Delly Carr/ Triathlon.org

It wasn’t just Jodie Swallow’s victory at the ITU Long Distance Triathlon world Championship that raised a few eyebrows, it was the manner in which she did it. Swallow ripped the field to pieces, leading from start to finish and winning by more than eleven minutes (for a race report click here). We caught up with the latest in a growing line of British World Champions to find out how she’s feeling and what this means for her career.

World Champion! How’s it sinking in?
I know, its amazing…but I like the ring to it it has It’s weird as I’m still in Perth training for the next week .

My parents are away on holiday in Britain so I haven’t been able to really share it with them….Mum says not to worry as they will be watching Clearwater…but I might not have such a blinder there!!

You destroyed a really talented field – did you expect to win by such a large margin?
I didn’t expect to destroy anything except my own legs…I knew that would happen so I wasn’t second guessing anything…I’ve learnt too much lately to do that.

What was your strategy going into the race?
My strategy is clear for all to see. I want a swim/bike/run contest and I always aim to go as fast as I can in all three.

How does this set you up for Clearwater. Can you win it?
Clearwater is less than three weeks away. There are a number of girls with the credentials to win it.

I hope I will be in contention and race even better then. Then I’ll be happy wherever I come.

Is there anything in particular you’re going to focus on in the next couple of weeks?
I have new coach – Chris Jones – our training regime is just consistent and measured.

Chris wanted me rested and ready so he dictates the speeds etc. I run and I just follow. I don’t run or bike or swim in fact to excess but what I do is targeted to maximise my efficiency.

Are you tempted to start focusing on middle and long distance races now?
I am tempted but for financial stability – that is not a good reason to be motivated and not why I entered the sport.

I have not reached my potential in drafting races yet.

Can you race both long course and short course races effectively?
I will dip in and out for the big ones up to 2012 but that remains the focus. The drafting season ends in September and then I’ll come back to non-drafting for a bit.

British triathlon is looking really healthy at the moment – why do you think that is?
I think that British triathletes have matured into the sport, basically. Funding has generally gone down and long distance athletes are not funded (me, Chrissy etc), so it’s not necessarily that.

I hope we inspire each other. I’m certainly inspired by the likes of Dibens, Don, Brownlee and Chrissy.

Will this result help you with regards to funding from British Triathlon?
No. It is my understanding that British triathlon funding rightly or wrongly is based on ability to win Olympic medals….I would argue this shows that I have the raw ingredients to do this…but I would have thought this was shown before anyway. I can be cut into that person but I’m not going to be spend my time fighting that.

My time is best spent training and racing and improving with my own team around me that I have chosen. British triathlon will be involved coming up and qualifying for the Olympics as they choose to be.

What are your goals for the rest of 2009 and 2010?
I only have Clearwater 70.3 worlds now in 2009. 2010 I will aim to be consistent and quick in the world series rankings. Top 10. Then I will race longer stuff and set goals in that from September onwards.

Read Jodie’s own account of the race and what happened at ifollowtheswallow.com

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