TEAM NI: Triathletes get early chance to set the standards

Aileen Reid
Aileen Reid

The first medals to be won at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will be in the women’s triathlon and Northern Ireland could be among them.

Aileen Reid has proven she is among the world’s best over the past four years with her most outstanding result coming last year when she took silver in the World Series final in London.

“I think with the success of last year, silver medal in the world champs, it really shows me what I can do. I’m not under pressure to go into races and semi-perform. I don’t feel I have to do that,” she explains.

Reid suffered an injury setback over the winter with a neck problem that caused her to miss a bulk of her training and the start of the season and when she did get back to competitive action the results reflected that.

However the 32 year-old from Londonderry now appears to be running into form with top ten finishes in recent World Series sprint events in London and Hamburg.

Reid has been training hard in the French Mountain Resort of Avoriaz for the past month and will be hoping that her preparations will come to fruition in Glasgow but she’s not putting any pressure on herself, she says that comes from others.

“I think at this stage I’ve learnt not to take on people’s predictions and I think I’ve said before people are too quick to write things in the paper as soon as you get a medal, they’re hanging a medal around your neck for the next Commonwealth Games or the Olympics. It doesn’t always work that way and for me I just think, within things I can control, and if that’s my fitness and consistently performing well over consecutive races and working on the small things like bike skills and open water skills then that’s all I can do. The outcome is going to be the same outcome.”

Reid is one of six Northern Ireland triathletes in Glasgow, a reflection of the growth in popularity of the sport over the decade.

Eimear Mullen and Emma Sharkey join Reid in the women’s race while Conor Murphy, Harry Speers and Russell White will compete in the men’s and then four, two women and two men, will be selcted for the mixed relay, the first time the event has been raced in the Commonwealth Games.

Reid added, “It’s almost a home games for us and to have a big strong team from Northern Ireland, we’re only a small nation, and it will be fantastic to have some teammates there and to be training and racing with them, and even the likes of the athletic guys and the swimmers, I feel like I know quite a lot of them so yes it’ll be fantastic.”