Women’s world No.3 Taylor Spivey says the World Triathlon Championship Series race in Abu Dhabi is the start of an important year for her as she aims to qualify for next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.
The 31-year-old American will be among the stars competing in Friday’s elite race at the Yas Marina Circuit. She returns to Abu Dhabi after finishing seventh in the World Triathlon Championship finals, and although she is recovering from illness, is determined to give her best this weekend.
Speaking to Arab News, she said: “I only properly started training about four weeks ago but it’s an important year for me considering it’s Olympic qualification and I really want to be there. Having started training late and also being sick, I have really low expectations for the race in Abu Dhabi.
“I never want to go into a race just to complete it. I always want to do well, but right now I’m trying to be realistic in terms of my preparation and my health, and I’ll do the best I can.”
With the Olympic Games more than a year away, this season’s series offers athletes the chance to claim precious qualifying points. Spivey has her eyes set on competing in the biggest sporting competition.
“My only goal for this year is to qualify for the Olympics. The qualification events will be in Paris and at the Grand Final so those are key for me. At the same time, I would like to be consistent in podium finishes while a World Series win is also something that I would love to achieve,” she said.
The Yas Marina Circuit, home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, will host the race, and Spivey is looking forward to testing herself at the venue.
“Everywhere we race is just so different and that’s special about being on this circuit. We get to not only experience different cities, but also different race courses and just different cultures, and it’s cool. This race is generally pretty hot and I think everyone gets a little bit excited to race on the F1 course, so it’s a nice place to be.”