Eastbourne’s Chloe Pollard was never going to allow injury to stop her from competing in the aquathlon at the inaugural World Beach Games.
The 22-year-old triathlete, who works as a lifeguard at Brighton University, struggled with a stress fracture for most of this season and feared she wouldn’t meet the selection criteria to represent Team GB for the Games.
She was forced to take 14 weeks off running training but Pollard is not one to give into setbacks and is raring to do her best for Great Britain at this week’s event in Doha.
“I was so excited when I found out I had been called up to represent GB in Doha because I didn’t think I had met the selection criteria after a difficult year with injury,” said Pollard.
“I still managed to continue swimming with my stress fracture but running was off the cards. It had a huge impact on my routine coming into the season.
“I’ve been really pleased with my progress and how I’ve managed to get back up to fitness since.
“My hopes for the Beach Games are to perform as well as I can and enjoy the experience – that’s all I can really ask for.”
Team GB will compete across seven disciplines in Doha, as 97 countries from five continents come together for the Association of National Olympic Committees’ (ANOC) first-ever World Beach Games, taking place from October 12-16.
Alongside aquathlon, Great Britain will be represented in water-ski, bouldering, kitefoil racing, skateboarding, beach soccer and wakeboard, and for most of the Team GB athletes selected, it will be their first opportunity to compete at a multi-sport Games.
For Pollard, it’s all about making the most of the experience in the hope that one day, she can emulate the achievements of her biggest inspiration, fellow British triathlete Jess Learmonth.
“Swimming is most definitely still my preferred sport. I’ve been in the pool before I could walk, so that’s always the part I enjoy the most,” added Pollard.
“I probably take most of my inspiration from Jess Learmonth because she has such a good swim, so I relate to her quite a lot. The aquathlon in Doha will be a run-swim-run format. Most of my races I have done before in an aquathlon have been a swim-run. That’s mainly due to the temperature in colder climates, but that definitely won’t be the case in Doha.
“It’s an interesting format I think because you end up having two transitions. Running is still difficult, but I’m getting there and progressing the more I do the sport.”
- The inaugural World Beach Games take place in Doha from 12-16 October. Follow the team @TeamGB on social media and at TeamGB.com