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Anneke Jenkins sets her sights on Rio 2016

After more than six months out of the international triathlon circuit due to a bilateral hip operation, Anneke Jenkins has set her sights firmly on next year’s world tri series to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

February 2015

 

Anneke started the year strong but a hip injury before the Auckland Triathlon race in March forced Anneke out of the international triathlon circuit, until just before the end of the season.

“It was devastating for me. I was doing so well in my prep for the year ahead. But I took a tumble off my bike – well, a bit more than a tumble. I was doing 55kph, hit a rock and flew over the front of my handlebars. My helmet definitely saved my life for sure. I’m so lucky it did its job! Keeping that in perspective makes it easier for me to stay focused. I was out for the rest of the season but now, after recovering from surgery, I’m still able to keep doing what I love.”

Financial help from her sponsors, including Asteron Life, meant Anneke was able to use world-class rehabilitation facilities in Colorado, U.S. So despite the setback and the operation she had to have on her hips because of the fall, Anneke’s managed to get back into the competitive circuit.

“I’ve definitely come back from the surgery stronger. One of the benefits of surgery was also getting a ‘hip job’. The surgeon tightened my hip joints which will help my running style, and prevent further injuries.”

“After years of being a competitive breaststroke swimmer, my hips and joints were flexible - too flexible. When you’re running, flexible hips are the last thing you want. You need to be tight and rigid. So the surgeon gave me a ‘hip job’ – tightening my hip joints. I have the potential to be a stronger runner than I’ve ever been, now that I have more stability in my hips.”

Anneke Jenkins using a swiss ball

“I’ve definitely come back from the surgery stronger."

Taking time out to recover after the surgery was difficult for Anneke.

“I’m not a very good patient at all,” she said. “I can’t stand sitting still and because of that I did too much, too quickly. I got on the bike the day after surgery which was a bit much. I did 20 minutes and handled that fine, but when I tired to build up to 40 minutes my hips struggled and ached so much the next day. The pain was always delayed and it was the days after that I was really achy. I often did too much, feeling fine and then end up thinking “oh my gosh…I shouldn’t have done that”.”

In September Anneke managed to compete in the swim and bike stages of a half iron man. After the swim and bike she had a seven minute lead in the race, but had to pull out during the run as she hadn't done enough training for the run while recovering from the hip surgery.

“At that stage of my recovery the distance was just too long for me. But my time for the swim and bike proved that my recovery is going well.”

In October Anneke was able to last the distance and completed the 2015 Larache ATU Sprint Triathlon African Cup, in Morocco. She came third and was thrilled with the result.

The season may be over now but Anneke will get straight back into training for the start of the next season in December. She’s looking to compete throughout February and March in events based in Kinloch, Takapuna and Gisborne, as well as world cups in New Plymouth and Mooloolaba, Australia.

Anneke’s results in the international events (ITU World Series), following the New Zealand events will help to determine whether she earns a place at the 2016 Rio Olympics.