Triathlon Academy Australian Training & Competition Camp 2004
successful Training & Competition Camp in Australia in 2003, 5 athletes
from the Indian Triathlon Academy once again ventured “down under” to
experience the unique lifestyle of living, training and competing in
Australia. As in 2003, the Academy set up base at Shoalhaven Heads on
the beautiful South Coast of NSW.
'Grandma' Robyn Morgan with Brett & Lynette Mace
The Athletes accompanied by National Triathlon Coach, Brett Mace along
with High Performance Consultant Rob Pickard were:
S. Mani Singh
The Camp was held from February to April, and as was the case last year,
the Indian Triathlon Federation and the Indian Triathlon Academy were
very grateful for the support of The Shoalhaven City Council through
Mayor Greg Watson and John Wells who assisted the Academy in a number of
areas. Combined with the generous support of the local community of
Shoalhaven Heads through the Chamber of Commerce and people like Ken
Merrifield and Rod Larkin, the Academy was once again made very welcome
and indeed very well looked after.
Academy Athletes with Swim Squad at Bomaderry Pool, Australia
On arrival the Team was greeted again by many familiar and friendly
faces, but unlike last year the Team had very little time to settle in
as the time in Australia was limited due to the Asian Triathlon
Championships, which doubles as the Asian Olympic Qualifying event was
being held early on April 3/4 in Subic Bay, Philippines.
Fun and games near the Academy Base on the Soth Coast of NSW,
The weekend after arrival, the Team headed off to the Port Stephens
Triathlon which produced a wet and cold race, not quite what the
athletes were looking for, but a good event all the same, and a good
chance for a ‘hitout’. Mani Singh, competing in his first foreign
event was the best performed of the Indian Team closely followed by Syed
Jabir and then Mahesh Shinde, who didn’t enjoy a good race at all.
Indian Female Junior Triathletes with Host Family in Indian Dress
Kavya was besieged by bad luck by not only having a puncture on the
first of two laps on the cycle, but experienced a second puncture soon
after repairing the first. Her race ended in the back of the ‘sag
wagon’ which was disappointing after placing 2nd in the
juniors of the same event last year. Kanthamani didn’t compete in this
Olympic Distance event as she is relatively new to the sport and has
only previously competed in 2 sprint events and was in Australia mainly
to gain experience for the future.
Indian Triathletes above Wollongong in Australia
The following weekend saw the Academy athlete’s competing at their
favourite ‘local’ event, the Berry Biathlon. This long standing event
consists of an 800m swim followed by a very scenic 5km run. Once again
the Indian athletes were very prominent but as was the case last year,
were unable to crack the number 1 position in the male and female open
events, however Kanthamani managed to take out the Junior Girls event.
Indian Triathletes before departure to Australia for 2004 Camp
In the men’s open event Mahesh Shinde led most of the way on the run
only to be caught in the ‘shadow’ of the finishing line, while Mani
Singh finished a strong 3rd and Syed Jabir finished 4th
for the second year in a row. In the Open Women’s event Kavya was once
again the bridesmaid finishing runner up for the second year in a row.
Khatoon or Mausi as the Academy Athletes call her
The busy schedule continued 5 days later with an invitation for the
Indian Team to compete at the NSW All Schools Triathlon Championships at
the International Regatta Centre, west of Sydney which played host to
the Olympic rowing and kayaking events at the 2000 Olympics.
Mani Singh comes into contact with a Kangaroo for the 1st time
In the senior category of the School Championships held over the sprint
distance (750/20/5) Kavya and Syed Jabir were the Indian Team
representatives with Kavya finishing 6th and Syed Jabir also
in 6th. This was a particularly good result given that a
number of athletes in this category are members of the NSW Junior Elite
Taking instruction from the Academy's Swim Coach in Australia Mark
In the Intermediate Category, Mani Singh continued his outstanding form
by finishing a very strong 4th just behind a number of
outstanding up and coming Australian athletes. Kanthamani continued to
gain experience and despite a poor swim managed to gain a number of
places on the cycle and the run. Unfortunately Mahesh Shinde was too
old to compete and did an outstanding job as Team Manager for the day.
Kanthamani competing in NSW Schools Championships, Australia
Just 2 days later the Team was back in action again with yet another
invitation to compete at the Illawarra Club Triathlon in Wollongong.
Despite looking forward to fine and mild racing conditions, the Team was
greeted with cold, wet and windy conditions. Luckily the rain held
off for the race but unfortunately not the wind and cold making for a
very bumpy swim and a tough cycle and run over an up and down course.
Kavya & Jabir Pre Race NSW Schools Triathlon Championships at
International Regatta Centre, Australia
Also accepting an invitation to this event was the NSW Institute of
Sport Squad who were in camp on the South Coast preparing for the World
Championships to be held in Madeira, Portugal. Though this added a
lot of strength to the field, the Academy athletes in their last event
before the Asian Championships in 2 weeks and their 3rd event
in 8 days, along with the tough conditions competed very well finishing
just behind the Australian Elite Juniors. We thank the Illawarra
Triathlon Club for their warm and friendly welcome and we look forward
to future events with them
Kavya exits the water, Schools Triathlon Chamnpionships, Australia
The last weekend before the departure to Subic Bay saw the Indian
athletes at another of their favourite events, the Nowra Cross Country
at Willandra. This event is always popular with the team with its
beautiful scenery, friendly people and challenging course. Rob
Pickard, the Indian Triathlon Academy Coaching Consultant managed to
show the Academy athletes that despite his 50+ years he is not ready to
let them win so easily, especially Kavya who has shared many hours of
racing and training with Rob.
Kavya on her way to 6th position, Schools Triathlon Championships ,
Afterwards Rob, who lives nearby at Berry, hosted the Academy athletes
to a tennis afternoon and barbeque as the Academy athletes began to wind
up what had been a very busy but successful trip once again to
Mani Singh finishing 4th Schools Triathlon Championships , Australia
The Indian Triathlon Federation and Academy are indeed very grateful and
privileged to have the services of Rob Pickard. Not only is he very
knowledgeable in the many areas of Triathlon, but he has become a very
good friend to all in the Academy and the Federation visiting India on a
regular basis and assisting the team when in Australia. Rob has
contributed much to the success of the Program and we all look forward
to his visit to Indian again in the near future.
Pre Race Briefing, NSW Schools Championships
Another contributor to the success of the Academy athletes while in
Australia and the Asian Championships was Swim Coach Mark Terechovs.
With the kind support of John Wells from Shoalhaven City Council, the
Academy were fortunate enough to swim each day with Mark’s Squad at
Bomaderry Pool. This also enabled the Academy to not only develop
their swim stroke under Mark’s watchful eye, but also gave the athletes
the opportunity to meet and train with young Australian athletes on a
Start, NSW Schools Triathlon Championships
It would be remiss of us not to mention our dear friends Khatoon Wotton
(affectionately known as Mausi) and her daughter Naomi who are an
invaluable support to the Team.
Another great friend of the Academy is Mick and Razz Morgan and their
children Josh & Bianca who host us each year, though soon after our
arrival they headed off on a 6 month odyssey around Australia.
In their place was Robyn and Noel Morgan (known to the Team as Grandma
and Grandpa). They became the Team’s surrogate “Grand Parents” this
year with Robyn “mothering” all in the Team and Noels attending to the
most important of duties which included helping everyone with the
preparation of fishing gear (in the small amount of spare time
available) and of course the cleaning of the fish on the few occasions
the team was successful, and not to mention chasing and catching snakes
in the laundry.
In hindsight it was a very successful trip to Australia as the Indian
Team turned in the best all-round performance ever by an Indian Team at
an Asian Championship and much of that credit goes to all those above
who have assisted the Academy. We thank you all.