Aileen off to Spain for Olympic preparations

25 June 2011; Ireland's Aileen Morrison, from Derry, in action during the Elite Women's race. Aileen finished in 14th position, in a time of 2:07:28. 2011 Pontevedra ETU Triathlon European Championships - Elite Women, Pontevedra, Spain. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

25 June 2011; Ireland's Aileen Morrison, from Derry, in action during the Elite Women's race. Aileen finished in 14th position, in a time of 2:07:28. 2011 Pontevedra ETU Triathlon European Championships - Elite Women, Pontevedra, Spain. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

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LONDON OLYMPICS bound triathlete, Aileen Morrison was left frustrated after her final major race before next month’s Games in the picturesque Austrian town of Kitzbuhel on Saturday.

The Derry woman finished 14th in a race which featured 41 top female triathletes from across the world, however, she was disappointed with her swim which she described as ‘shocking’.

“Shocking swim!,” she said on her Twitter account afterwards. “Never been so angry with myself.”

Morrison, in the midst of a heavy training block was less concerned with the overall result but was looking to get some of the technical aspects of the race nailed prior to Hyde Park on August 4th.

In the early stages of the swim Morrison found the going tough, however she made up some time on the second lap to exit the 1,500m swim 17 seconds off the leader in 19th position.

The deficit, while only minor was enough for Morrison to miss the lead pack. The 15 up front contained many of the strong bikers while Morrison was left in a small group including Vanessa Raw, Felicity Abram and Simone Ackermann.

“We’ve been working on the swim quite a bit over the past few weeks but Aileen didn’t perform as well as she is capable of and the small margins can cost you dearly.” said High Performance Director, Chris Jones.

Meanwhile the leaders continued to power on while Morrison’s pack didn’t have the legs to close the gap.

They were eventually joined by a third chase pack swelling the numbers to almost 20 athletes.

Extra Numbers

The extra numbers allowed them to reel in the leaders but with a gap on 1min 28secs entering transition two they were never going to challenge for the medals.

In trademark fashion Morrison stormed out of T2 determined to pick off some of the backmarkers from the lead pack.

She produced a 35min 10km run after a tough bike giving her the same run split as the eventual medallists up front and clawing her way back up to 14th overall.

Switzerland’s Nicola Spirig made it three victories in a row by sprinting clear of Sweden’s Lisa Norden and New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt in third.

From here Morrison will move to Triathlon Ireland’s High Altitude training camp in the Sierra Nevada in Spain for three weeks in order to put the finishing touches to her Olympic preparations.