“From the land of the rising sun… It was a scenic race around Osaka Castle. It took these 1000-year-old stones with a heavy downpour to help me conquer my wall of fear after failures from my past few races.
“It was again another race day with heavy rain on 25th June 2017 at noon. It was a line-up of 79 elite men, a deep water start in the moat of Osaka Castle with 2 narrow stairs (making it possible for only 1 person at a time to exit).
“I had a good swim start but got to work more on the change of pace gearing in with speed to position myself at the front. The exit was a beeline, but into T1, all was chop-chop, fast and good. It was raining heavily (as can be seen from the picture), and the bike course was very technical with lots of turns, puddles of water combined with sand and dead leaves, and above all very slippery… 5 loops of 4 km only increases the difficulty level. I was lucky to be in a pack with 3 others. Actually, the groups were rather fragmented with the actual 1st pack consisting of 6 athletes and the 2nd pack (which was also the biggest pack) consisting of about 12 athletes. Then, there were small packs of 3 to 4 to 5 athletes in several packs that followed. I believed I was probably in the middle.
“There were definitely several crashes and injuries, and everyone probably rode with caution except for the 1st pack, as the spectators later reported. It was good work in our pack and we eventually caught up with 2 others in front of the 3 loop and merged to become a 6-man-pack.
“T2 was also quick and smooth, and into the run. It was drizzling by then. I was a little off my pace in the 1st km of run and after the 2 km mark, I found my pace and legs, and my running improved. The injury I sustained in Taiwan, resulting in a tight and tense hamstring could still be felt slightly, but it didn’t interfere. I completed the race to earn a spot on the Commonwealth Games team.
“With a few more physio and chiro sessions back home, I’ll be ready for The Asia Championship in Palembang on 22nd July, which will also be the ASIAN Games selection race.
“Thank you Nuzest for your never-ending support and encouragement, it really spurs me on. The nutrition is part of my daily training, and it is definitely helping me on the road to being 100% again and training in full swing.”