Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kimberley all out to defend title

IT took some time for Kimberley Yap to adjust her personal matters to suit her Sea Games preparations, but she is now 100 per cent focused on every inch of detail in the defence of her gold medal.
The 22-year old triathlon champion said she had gone into self-imposed exile to distance herself from distractions in order to concentrate on her tasks.

"There were just so many personal things to attend to when I returned after two months in Europe. All that meant I lost focus for a while," said Kimberley, a former national swimmer.

"I wasn't actually feeling down, but having to run around doing errands and handling all sorts of personal matters, my rhythm was really unsettled."

The detail by which Kimberley has charted her course towards the Sea Games is now well sorted out and a plan has been established.
"I had to look closely at the strategy I'm going to be using. When competing in Europe, I needed a different strategy, because there everybody focused on a strong run and used the cycling leg to save energy for that," said Kimberley.

Kimberley is usually strong in the swim, which is the first leg of the triathlon, but not so on the bike which comes next, before an average run to the finish.

"But in the Sea Games it will be different. I'm about 90 per cent sure that in the Sea Games, I'll be the first out of the water and that means I have to work alone on the bike if I want to maintain the lead," she said.

For that, Kimberley sought help from Le Tua Cycling Team coach Johari Nayan, who has helped her improve her time-trialling skills on the bike, meaning she will be able to put in a strong performance without benefit of drafting.

"If I'm in front, I'll have to ride alone all the way. There will be no chance to draft or work with other competitors.

"So, I've had to improve on that area and then look seriously at how I'm going to have strong enough legs to finish with a strong run," said Kimberley.

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