The Commonwealth triathlete, Wian Sullwald, is at long last “fighting fit” and ready to compete again. The High Performance Centre athlete says: ‘It is exciting for me that I will be competing in my first race at the end of the month in Zimbabwe, especially because the initial prognosis was that I would only be able to start racing again at the end of April. To have started off my racing campaign with the World Series event in Cape Town would certainly not have been an ideal situation.’ Sullwald was side-lined since the middle of last year by a variety of setbacks, which included tick bite fever and knee and hip injuries.
Needless to say he was extremely frustrated. Sullwald says: ‘The most important lesson I have learned from my setbacks is to listen to my body. If you ignore a “red light” that is flashing, you will end up paying the price.’ According to Sullwald he is almost at his best again in the swimming and cycling sessions: ‘However, I only started running three weeks ago and at this stage I am still taking things slightly easier. But I am gradually regaining my strength and fitness. When I started out I was only allowed to run 10 minutes at a time and now I am already doing one-hour sessions.’ Sullwald is full of praise for the way the HPC team of experts supported him on his road to recovery: ‘When I was really down in the dumps, Toby Sutcliffe (CEO) told me to trust them and relax. He assured me that they were 100% behind me and would support me all the way to ensure that I make a complete recovery. That is exactly what the HP did.’
In the past month Sullwald had two harrowing experiences while he was out training on his bike. The first narrow escape happened in Zambezi Road in Pretoria when a motorist skipped a red robot and bumped into him. When Sullwald thinks back to the second incident he still gets agitated: ‘While I was training on Lynnwood Road, I was shouldered off the road by a motorist and crashed down. To say that I was furious would be an understatement. I so nearly fell fully on my injured knees and I shudder to think what the result would have been if that had happened. It would probably have delayed my return to the sport by another two to three months.’
After having competed in the African Cup race in Zimbabwe, Sullwald will be on his way to Australia to compete in the third event of the World Triathlon Series.
Story credit: HPC