Singapore Slinghsot

Courtney Atkinson looking for speed in return to Olympic-distance competition
Courtney Atkinson - Happy © Mark Watson/Red Bull Content Pool
By Josh Rakic

FRESH from a top-10 finish in last week’s City 2 Surf, Olympian and triathlon champion Courtney Atkinson will touch down in Singapore this week to contest his first Olympic-style triathlon since the 2012 London Games.

And given his performance and enjoyment level, it could be the catalyst for a bigger decision come year’s end.

“Well, it’s my first Olympic-style race since London and I’m actually looking forward to it,” Courtney says.

“I was visiting some family in Singapore and there happens to be a race there so, why not.

I ran the City to Surf this week and I got 10th. So I’m feeling bloody good. I’m running back close to Olympic standard.

Which it seems it imperative to his happiness. After more than a year training for longer-form endure racing, Courtney says he’s missed racing at speed.

“After all the ironman and Xterra training, I really wanted to focus on my running and strengthen it up again,” he says.

“The second half of the year I really wanted to focus on that and get it back to that Olympic level.

“With all the ironman training I felt it was starting to slow my running down and I was getting to that point where I was losing my natural speed. And one of my biggest fears was that once I retired form triathlon or whatever, that I wouldn’t have that ability to run like I used to. To run fast.”

So he returned his grass roots and an old rival to find that spark all over again.

I ran the Queensland Cross-Country champs against one of my old rivals and surprised myself

“And each week it’s progressed better and better. The City to Surf was another improvement and this weekend in Singapore I’ll run the old Olympi- style race so it’s a fast run again. It’s all geared towards that.
“There’s a race in Bahrain at the end of the year, too that I’m looking to do well in. I’m getting my speed back which feels good.”

He ruled out a return to the Olympic arena almost two years ago but is there a possibility Courtney could make a return in Rio come 2016?
“I’ll go back and do some half marathons and then make a decision on whether I maybe even do have that shot at Rio – maybe,” Courtney says..

“I’m just keeping my options open.”

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