Snowsill fights virus ahead of Triathlon - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Snowsill fights virus ahead of Triathlon

By John Salvado 03/11/2007 09:38:56 PM Comments (0)

Triple world champion Emma Snowsill is battling a virus in the lead-up to Sunday's Noosa Triathlon.

With her Beijing Olympic nomination already in the bag, Snowsill had planned to take a relaxed approach into the event she won three years in a row from 2003-05.

But the lingering after-effects of a bug the 26-year-old picked up after finishing second in the Olympic test event in Beijing in September means she is set to leave a decision on whether to contest the 25th edition of the Noosa triathlon until the morning of the race.

Pulling out would be a blow, but Snowsill could still be well pleased with another impressive year rewarded last month with pre-selection for the Beijing Olympics, along with Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson.

Triathlon Australia will finalise the remainder of the six-strong Games team in April.

"The Olympic nomination is helping in many aspects," said Snowsill.

"I know that I don't have to be in peak fitness and form at this time of the year.

"Having had the virus, it gives me the opportunity to really get it all sorted out.

"So when I go back into my hard, intense training there will be nothing lingering there.

"I could still be applying the pressure to myself if I didn't have that spot already.

"You can walk away happy and relieved from a year that might not have been crash hot or always being up where you'd like to be."

After twisting her ankle while jogging two days before last year's Noosa race, Snowsill battled on gamely to finish third behind countrywomen Felicity Abram and Annabel Luxford, whom she expects will again be the favourites on Sunday.

"Whereas for me it's totally different," said Snowsill.

"It's purely about going out there and enjoying the event, enjoying the race.

"And if my body is saying this is not the right thing to do then I'm going to make that sort of decision, to say that I can't compromise my health."

Snowsill's partner and coach Craig Walton - who has won the Noosa men's race a record five times - has also deflected the mantle of favouritism, anointing Atkinson as the one to beat.

For his part, Atkinson says the pressure was lifted once he was picked to make his Olympic debut in Beijing after a long career where he has consistently produced his best racing results in Asia.

"That's the luxury that we have - myself, Brad and Emma," said Atkinson.

"We're able to concentrate on next August.

"So I don't really feel any pressure now.

"With these other guys, it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds."

The Noosa men's field also includes two other major contenders for the one remaining men's vacancy in the Beijing Games squad - three-time world champion Peter Robertson and Athens Olympian Simon Thompson.

Robertson, 31, will be racing for the first time in six months after overcoming a serious bout of food poisoning.

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