Injury fails to slow down Chiquita Riveros.....
CHILE'S Barbara Riveros shrugged off a niggling injury and a problem with her shoes to claim victory in the elite women’s race at Caloundra yesterday.
The 23-year-old produced a race-winning final run leg to hold off an international field, which included placegetters Liz Blatchford, of the United Kingdom, and Lauren Campbell, of Canada.
But Riveros had to overcome a couple of hurdles, including a leg wound which had hampered her preparation for the enduro event, which featured a 400m swim, 7km cycle and 1.8km run, followed by another 200m swim, 7km cycle and 1.8km run.
“I had a (cycling) crash last Tuesday. I wasn’t running much and it was pretty sore and getting infected,” she said.
“I hoped that during the race my leg would hold up all right and it did so I was very happy.”
In fact, it was her strong running performance which propelled her to the line, even after she lost time because of a slip-up near the transition area.
“I was pretty happy I could swim properly and get out of the water with the girls but in the first run leg I had a problem with my shoes so I was maybe 40-50m behind,” she said.
“I had to catch up to be sure that we would be together for the second swim.”
Blatchford, an Australian-based United Kingdom competitor, led the way early in the race, guiding the field through the opening swim and bike legs. But Kirsten Sweetland showed plenty of pace in the first run leg to lead a group of four into the water for the second swim.
However, the Canadian slipped on the swim exit and dropped from first to fourth as Blatchford went to the front again.
Little could separate the group of four during the second bike leg but Riveros showed her strength during the 1800m run to record a winning time of 47.04, five seconds ahead of the chasing pack.
“It was definitely a good race,” the diminutive South American said. “The (five-woman) field was pretty small but I think it was a really high quality field – these girls race in the world championship series,” she said.
Riveros has trained at Wollongong and in Canberra and is a proven performer; she has beaten Emma Moffatt before. With a big season ahead of her, Riveros has taken aim at the Mooloolaba Triathlon next month.