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Swallow seeking three-from-three at Salford Quays

03 August 2002

The Salford Quays triathlon course holds happy memories for England’s Jodie Swallow, who has raced and won there twice, most recently at the British Championships in August 2001.

Jodie Swallow

Jodie Swallow: hoping for a hat-trick

The home advantage may help Swallow make it three-from-three at Salford, but since picking up the second of her three British titles here this time last year, the fortunes of the 21-year-old have fluctuated as she continues her steep learning curve on the senior international circuit.

Having won her third British title in Stockton-on-Tees in May this year, Swallow suffered the disappointment of finishing 31st at the European Championships in Hungary in July - a race for which she was widely tipped to medal.

Her mood entering the inaugural Commonwealth Games women’s triathlon race on Sunday is one of cautious, rather than unguarded, optimism.

“I want to race well in Manchester,” the former European junior champion explains. “I’ve had some trouble this year and I’m keen to show people what I’m capable of.

“If I’d performed to my potential at the start of the year then maybe I’d be looking at a medal, but it hasn’t all gone to plan.”

Swallow’s misfortune at the European Championships was compounded as she watched four of her British team-mates finish in the top 12. Leanda Cave (WAL), who will also race on Sunday, stole the headlines with a silver medal-winning performance.

“The European Championships was an exceptional experience,” recalls Swallow. “There were factors in the race that I hadn’t experienced before and wasn’t prepared for. I’ve learnt a lot from that race and the mistakes I made there won’t happen again.”

The England triathlon team are now at the Athletes’ Village after a week at a holding camp just outside of Manchester, and Swallow feels that moving to the village earlier may have aided her medal quest.

“There is always a lot of apprehension and niggles in the week before the race. I think I would have preferred to have stayed in the village all the time – when we were there for the Opening Ceremony I really enjoyed it. If we’d been doing our own thing, perhaps I would have done things differently.”

But whatever the outcome of Sunday’s race, Swallow, a former English Schools’ champion as both a swimmer and a runner, is still confident that her long-term goal of medalling at the 2004 Athens Olympics is still on the cards.

“If I can double what I’ve done in the first two years then I’ll achieve what I want to,” she promises. “Two years is a long time in sport.

“Inside I’ve got all the right characteristics.”

Info News Service/rb/jdc

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