By Erin Greene on 15/08/14 at 8:42 am
With the Youth Olympic Games set to kick off next week, we caught up with some of triathlons brightest and freshest talent to find out what they are looking forward to, who they are and what they’ve been up to. First up is Zimbabwe’s Drew Williams.
What are your expectations of Nanjing and China generally – tell us about any research you have done and what you expect to encounter in China, from a conditions, culture and travel point of view?
I’m looking forward to being in a first world country for the first time and experiencing a different culture, I expect the Games to be very well organised and a huge eye opener to international competition. It will be a very long journey there but from what I’ve seen online it will be well worth it. The village looks amazing and I hope to get the full unique experience of the Youth Olympics. From the other athletes times that I’ve seen online, it will be interesting to come up against them on the same course.
How did you qualify for YOG?
I went through a two year qualification process being based on our local and international race results. Having made it into the top three males selected for Zimbabwe I was chosen to travel to East London South Africa to compete in the YOG Continental qualifier. I came in third behind SA and Egypt to win the bronze medal and qualify a spot at YOG for Zimbabwe.
How did you get started in triathlon/how long have you been competing?
I have been competing since the age of 8 when we were introduced to the sport through school activities. I started to take the sport more seriously when I was 13 and started to compete outside the borders of Zimbabwe.
What other sports would you like to see at YOG?
Athletics, swimming, road cycling and support fellow my Zimbabwean athletes in their respective sports.
How big is triathlon in your life right now? Put it into perspective for us.
As time consuming as triathlon is, it is a sport that I love combining all three of my favourite activities. Therefore, I barely even notice how much of my day it takes up as I eat, sleep and live for triathlon.
What else do you do outside of triathlon?
Along with my schoolwork, the school requires me to play two additional sports, so in the summer I take part in the school athletics and swimming teams and in the winter along with hockey I take part in the NIAA speech and drama festival.
If you weren’t a triathlete preparing to race at the YOG, what would you be doing?
I would have had an end of season rest and would have concentrated on my schoolwork, sport and cultural activities.
What have you been up to since your selection?
After having surgery on my feet, which took longer than expected to heal, I have been focusing on getting my running form back as well as upping my swimming to reach international standards. Unfortunately I have not been able to race in a while as it is our off-season and financially I am unable to travel to compete overseas.
What are your favourite subjects at school and why?
I enjoy physics and maths and also take an interest in physical education because I am interested in the way the body works and how to optimise my performance.
What about the worst, what would you rather not have to go to?
I really don’t enjoy chemistry.
Are you on facebook, twitter and Instagram? If so, what is your social media handle?
I have a facebook account but don’t spend too much time online.
Find more details about this event - 2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games