University of Pretoria High Performance Centre.
The win did not come easy as the weather conditions were atrocious; so much so that the organisors shortened the 1500m swim leg by 400m and the bike leg by 2-3 km. The water read a freezing 12 degrees Centigrade and exposing athletes for more than 30 minutes was considered to be too dangerous. However, incredibly heavy currents made many of the swimmers almost make up the 1500m original leg, merely by trying to stay on course.
The run course also contributed to confusion amongst the athletes. The route was a two and a half lap course; some athletes missed out on a loop with no blatant intent. But the end result was confusion with the final placings. Carla finished 2nd behind America’s Ashley Morgan who “won” in 1:56; 46 (overall time), however that included a 25min43se 10km run! Way better than the men’s World Record for that distance. It was clear she had run a loop short. That meant that Carla was automatically bumped up from 2nd to 1st.
It has been a rapid rise for Carla from Novice to World Champion, as she only started the sport 4 years ago. In that time she went from 36th (debut Worlds in 2005) to 7th to 8th and finally on top of the podium. That kind of improvement is virtually unheard of in the sport and bodes well for Carla as she develops into an Elite athlete. “I know I will need to become faster in the bike and run legs to be competitive in the triathlon at Elite level. The top girls are running around 34min for the 10km run leg and my best is 38min. But I am going to give it my best shot over the next few years. The advantage I have is that as of next year I can focus more attention on my sport as I will have finished my community service as a Physiotherapist.”
“Also having the sport science services of the High Performance Centre of the University of Pretoria available at my fingertips is a huge factor in my improvement. They take care of everything for me, my coaching, nutrition, physio treatment, the works.”
Carla will spend the next week in Canada before she returns home with the World Championships medal around her neck.