Leading athletes share their thoughts ahead of #WTSYokohama

by Andrew Dewhurst on 12 May, 2016 07:03 • Español
Leading athletes share their thoughts ahead of #WTSYokohama

Athletes gathered in front of a large media contingent to preview this weekend’s racing in Yokohama, here are the highlights from that press conference.

Gwen Jorgensen USA

On her fitness and readiness to race this weekend

“I am excited to be here, I always feel very welcome here, I want to say thanks for putting on a wonderful event. I am excited to race and see where my fitness is at. I want to swim my fastest, ride my fastest and run my fastest, I just want to go out and test my limits.”

On winning so many races in a row for the last few years, then on the Gold Coast you did not win. Has that in any way influenced your feelings ahead of Rio?

“I think the beautiful thing about racing is you never know what might happen, I go into every race to compete and be on the top step and so do my competitors - that is what is great and exciting about sport. My goal is to win in Rio, it has been since 2012, that was my goal before Gold Coast and that is still my goal now.”

Post London, what led to the changes in her performances?

“After London I had a complete look at my performance and knew I had to improve my weaknesses, I had to improve my swim and my bike and even my run was solid but not excellent. In 2012 in this race I had maybe the 15th fastest run – so I looked at different coaches and that is when I found Jamie Turner, my coach now. I train in a daily performance environment with about 15 other international athletes who are my competitors. We train every single day in that environment. Plus Jamie is known for helping improve swim technique so that is why I joined him and am currently on this journey to Rio with Jamie.”

In response to Ueda’s comments (see below) about London and on recently turning 30 years old

“Thank you Ai for those kind words, I remember racing and sprinting to the line against you in London. My career progression is due to joining Jamie and the Wollongong Wizards, I train with my competitors every day in a training environment. And yes, I just turned 30 a couple of weeks ago, the history of the Olympics and WTS shows though that there are strong women who are 30 years or older.”

Mario Mola ESP

On his fitness and readiness to race this weekend

“Every international athlete feels very welcome here, thanks for making us feel like this. I come to Japan in a good moment, I have been racing a lot in the last two or three months, that was the aim at the beginning of the season, I hope to continue this good momentum and start with a good performance here. This is my fourth time here, I have been on the podium the last two but never on the top, I will try to do my best and see if I can break that run with a victory, I will do my best and see how it goes on Saturday.”

Fernando Alarza ESP

On his fitness and readiness to race this weekend

I am in good form at a high level. I was motivated for the gold medal in Cape Town and the last two weeks my training is faster than Cape Town. I am motivated to be on the podium again, it is possible in this race but of course Mario is the best but I try to win. I am so happy to be here today and hope I enjoy the race.

On the secret of the Spaniards recent success

“Spain is maybe the best team in the world at the moment. We have had Javi (Gomez) as the reference point for all of us and our team, now Mario is my reference and the Spanish have a good level because first Ivan Rana, then Gomez were the very high reference points.

On the prospect of being named to the Spanish team for Rio

“The Spanish Federation maybe Monday will announce the three men for Rio but I think I am with my gold medal in Cape Town and Silver in Gold Coast I think I am qualified for Rio but I hope to be in the list on Monday, I am very motivated for the Olympic Games.”

Yuichi Hosoda JPN

On his fitness and readiness to race this weekend especially with just one place available now for Rio with the Japanese team

“In April for the Asian championships, there was only one spot leaft for the men, therefore I have to do my best to get that sport. In the past in Yokohama I had my best ranking of ten and also 11, if I can better that ranking then I will be a possibility to represent Japan in Rio. I cannot control the number of points that other athletes might win moving forward but I will do my best to get the points to go on to Rio. On Saturday I will give my all to win the race here at Yokohama, this is a very lucky place for me.

Ai Ueda JPN

On her fitness and readiness to race this weekend

Over the last six weeks I have participated in four competitions, Cape Town, Asian Championships and then I went to Nagano for high altitude training. Two years go for the first time I was on the podium here, this year as well I would like to be on the podium again. Unless I do so I will not be able to be on the podium in Rio, it is paramount that I do that here to qualify for Rio.

On her form since London 2012 and changes to her training and racing

“I am similar to Gwen, I realized I was not up to it in swimming, I could not draw on my strength in running to win the total race, therefore after London I had my coach come up with a new swim training menu and at the same time I trained with the men cyclists so I could upgrade my skill level, due to all of this I was able to come up with my best time in the Chicago Grand Final of 33 minutes 51 seconds in a triathlon.
“So since I found male cycling partners who I train with they have been instrumental in speeding up my cycling. This and many other ways I have actually progressed and when I look back to London Olympics on the photographs and video, Gwen was ranked 38 and I was number 39, we were that close in London, but since then I have watched you (Gwen) become so strong and this is so motivating for me, the fact you were close to me but now you are so far ahead. But still two years ago we stood on the podium here, that was a real inspiration for me and while you are still many steps ahead you are an inspiration which motivates me to do my best and to become even better.

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