DUATHLON: Parnell sets sights on World Championships return
SWINDON duathlete Claire Parnell is already planning her path to next year’s World Championships in Australia after injury affected her debut performance in Spain.
Parnell, a personal trainer who has been employed as Swindon Town’s yoga instructor recently, partially tore a ligament in her foot but still managed to plunder seventh place in the 35-39 age-group race in Pontevedra.
It was frustrating for the 37-year-old, who has only been involved in the sport for three years, as she admitted that she struggled to enjoy the occasion.
However, Parnell is looking to make amends when the competition moves Down Under next year.
She told the Advertiser: “It’s in Adelaide next year so it’s quite an incentive. Now I’ve had the experience I feel really hungry to do well and I’ve started plotting my qualification and training for that.
“Now I’ve got the experience behind me I’ll be more relaxed, or at least that’s the plan anyway. You never know, do you?
Parnell recorded a time of 1:12.54 to finish just over four minutes behind the winner, Donna McHugh.
“On the Tuesday before the race I was doing some sprints and my foot didn’t feel right. I didn’t do any more running until the race, I just did a bit of cycling with the team, and tghen warming up on the Sunday it felt wrong,” she said.
“During the actual race it completely popped, something went on the bottom of my foot. I’ve had it diagnosed as a partial tear of my ligament. It’s a real shame. I’m not sure where I would have placed but I would have done better.
“It’s hard to take. I wasn’t very happy.
“It’s a real mixture of emotions. It was a really proud day and the people of Potavenaga really came out and supported the athletes. The whole town was really getting excited about the whole event so it was a shame for me not to do as well as I could and enjoy it, too.
“I was in pain so I kind of wanted it to be over. It would have been nicer to enjoy myself but that’s sport.”