Sian Rainsley insists she is ready to carry on Great Britain’s impressive triathlon success at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
Rainsley is currently in China as one of just 33 athletes chosen to compete for Team GB in the second summer Youth Olympic Games, which takes place between August 16 and 28.
It is a remarkable achievement for the 17-year-old whose season looked in jeopardy after coming down with pneumonia on Christmas Day.
However Rainsley 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.
But Rainsley was made to wait for confirmation of her spot, which finally came when she was closely monitoring Twitter in her geography class.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
Rainsley represents the next generation of triathlon stars and says she is drawing on the experiences of Britain’s outstanding roster of athletes.
“It’s an amazing time for triathlon and to be a part of it when it is on the way up is great,” she added.
“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.”
© Sportsbeat 2014