Sunday, August 24, 2008

Olympic response from my coach John Hellemans

"Hello all,
well, Andrea delivered, 8th in a star studded field. Her goal was to get in the top 10. The race was very close with no real splits in the swim and bike. Her transition from the bike to the run was lightning fast and very cleverly done. We had agreed that she would push it hard for the first 3 km on the run, but when I saw her running stride for stride with Emma Snowsill for the first kilometer I have to admit that I got a bit worried, but she tuft it out and latched on smartly to anyone who tried to pass her for as long as she could, she is a real competitor, still ran 35.48 so very good especially under the hot conditions (29 degrees). Debbie had a solid race for 10th. Samantha was disappointed with her race, 16th, did not have a good day.

After the race andrea was very happy having achieved her main goal. For me, as her coach, she has been a delight to work with towards the Olympics.She has been responsive, understands what is required and has been totally prepared to do the work. There is further improvement in her yet and I am confident that she will realise that over the next few years.

After 25 years this were my last 2 races as a personal front line triathlon coach, one excellent result and a not so good one, sums up coaching really. Had a good innings with 5 world champions, 2 world championships bronze medals 4 olympians and more then a handful of world cup podiums. Mainly thanks to the quality of athletes I was privileged to work with. So I like to thank them first and foremost

Others I like to thank are:
- My family and friends, for helping me to keep my triathlon life in perspective.
- Tri-NZ ( formerly the New Zealand Triathlon Association), SPARC (formerly the Hillary Commission) and The New Zealand
Academy of Sport (formerly the New Zealand Sports Foundation) for their financial, educational and other support.
- My colleagues in coaching.
- Renzie Hanham

Yours in Sport
John Hellemans"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Report from the Olympic Games, Beijing

Thank you everyone for your good wishes and support for the Olympics.

I loved the race! It was really amazing because With all the pressure of the Olympics, during the race I felt the best I had this year..luckily because it was the biggest race and all of you were watching. There were huge crowds at the venue too and everything was run perfectly, there wasn't a lot of waiting around and i had a good feeling in the warm up because there were so many people around. I feel really lucky to have been a part of it. I had a good swim with no problems (no fights) exiting 10th or so and right in the middle of the front pack. The bike was fast and slow, fast and slow, as the Swiss and others tried to push the pace but there was no attack big enough to be a breakaway. The 2nd transition for me was the best start i could possibily have going onto the 10km run. I ran out in 1st position feeling really strong and i pushed really hard for the first 3km. I then had the hardest part of my race when i had to settle down and not run at Emmas pace! and finish the best i could. I placed 8th, and I was awarded with an Olympic Games Diploma (which the top 8 receive).
Since Monday, i have had a week to enjoy the festivites of the Olympic Games, seeing some athletics, mountain biking and kayaking and attending a few parties too. Also i 5 x my McDonalds visits this year at the village, since i'd only had it once this year. And finally i have the Closing Ceremony tonight, actually 15 minutes until i need to be ready..
Hope to see you all soon, although i'm not on the NZ team plane home, because i fly back to France on Tuesday to finish the season and I plan to return home in October.