ALLESLEY triathlon starlet Sian Rainsley insists she is ready to take on the mantle for Great Britain at this month’s Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
Rainsley is one of just 33 athletes who have travelled to China to compete in only the second summer Youth Olympic Games which begin this Saturday and run until August 28.
The 17-year-old will take part in Sunday’s triathlon event and looking back it has been a remarkable achievement for the teenager whose season looked in jeopardy after coming down with pneumonia on Christmas Day.
However she bounced back in style and was the first female Brit over the line in May’s European Qualifier for the Youth Olympic Games in The Netherlands.
And confirmation of her spot in the Great Britain side was confirmed when she was closely monitoring her Twitter account during Geography lesson last month.
“I didn’t find out until a while after the race when I was in geography class and the news came through and everyone started clapping and I was so chuffed,” revealed the Coundon Court pupil.
“The pneumonia really set me back. I had just gone out for normal run on Christmas Day but I knew straight away that something wasn’t right and it really hit me a few days after.
“That kept me out of action for a few months but in a weird way it was a good thing because it made me so determined to come back.
“I’m counting down the days now and it’s going to be such an honour to go out there and represent my country.
“I’m absolutely over the moon to have been selected for the squad in Nanjing and I’m so excited to be going.
“It still hasn’t hit me and I’m not sure that it will until I’m in China.”
Rainsley represents the next generation of triathlon stars and says she is drawing on the experiences of Britain’s outstanding roster of athletes to achieve her Olympic dream.
She added: “It’s an amazing time for triathlon and to be a part of it when it is on the way up is great.
“I was at a competition and the Brownlee brothers were eating dinner with us and it was a bit surreal. To have people like that who you can talk to and get advice from is incredible.
“I think with so many of us doing well we all feed off each other which is really positive for the sport.
“Going to an Olympics has been my ambition since I was a young girl and it’s becoming more and more real each year.
“It’s getting closer and closer to becoming a reality and hopefully by 2020 I’ll be ready.”
The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic Values. teamgb.com