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Salt Podium the Highlight in Geneva

Salt Podium the Highlight in Geneva

New Zealand’s emerging triathletes enjoyed another largely successful weekend with a podium for Elise Salt (Auckland) leading the way at the Geneva European Junior Cup race overnight NZT.

A member of the Tri NZ Development Squad, Salt was third in the Junior Women’s race while 16 year old National Talent Squad athlete Lizzie Stannard (Auckland) soaked up the experience in her first race at this level with a 22nd place while another Talent Squad member Tayler Reid (Gisborne) struggled in the wake of his podium in Osaka last week, coming home down the field in 56th.

Tri NZ Development Coach Tim Brazier is with the team as they prepare for various goals, with Lizzie Stannard and Dan Hoy (who didn’t race in Geneva) looking towards the Nanjing Youth Olympics and others in either the Junior (U19) or U23 World Championships in Edmonton in late August.

Brazier was pleased with the effort of his charges in Geneva.

“Overall I was very happy with the weekend. It was another step up for the athletes, and all three of them played significant roles in the races and learnt a lot, they were not just passengers

“For Elise it was a fantastic result, and is a reflection of her attention to detail in training, and over the past 10 days of travelling and racing.

“For Lizzie a 22nd place in her first international race as a 16 year old was excellent and she will only grow from this.

“It was disappointing for Tayler after such a good effort last weekend, but he got a lot from the race and is tenacious and will only bounce back stronger.”

Salt was delighted with her days work.

“It was a pretty tough race due to the one kilometre hill on each of the three laps of the bike, which ended up working in my favour. After a slip up at the start of the swim I came out of the water with a bunch of others about 30 seconds back from the leading bunch of 10. I really suffered in the swim, got swum over several times but I swam strongly in the second half to work my way up the field.

“On the bike we kept a pretty constant gap to the lead pack until the third lap where a Swiss girl and I bridged up. I was quite apprehensive about the hard bike course before racing but I felt strong up the hill which is where we made up a lot of time. As for the run, the field got pretty spread out. Sophie Coldwell - the eventual winner, went out fast and held that the whole run. It was a hard run after a hard bike but I am super happy to have placed third.”

For such young and inexperienced athletes as this group, there are as many if not more learnings away from racing at this stage of their careers, something Salt commented on.

“It has been a pretty full on week with a lot of travelling, to be honest I didn't know how my body would hold up and how well I would recover after racing Osaka a week ago then travelling to Spain and Switzerland. I made sure I did all I could to make sure I was ready for racing, including an ice bath after Osaka, adjusting to the European time zone straight away and early nights but still I picked up a cold a couple of days ago which wasn't ideal.”

Salt mapped out her plan from here to the Edmonton World Champs.

“I definitely have a few things to work on if I want to perform well at World Champs in August. Swim speed is critical for the beginning of a race and I need to be running about a minute faster if I want to contend for a medal. So, back to Spain for a couple of weeks of specific training, then a race in Hungary before heading over to Edmonton for World Champs which is what I am aiming towards.”

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