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Sky Draper marks return to action with Portuguese podium finish
1:00pm Friday 21st September 2012 in Sport
After an enforced absence from the triathlon, Sky Draper returned to action at the European Junior Cup race in Aveiro and claimed a third-place finish.
The Northwood athlete hadn’t completed in the discipline since early July due to injury and illness but travelled to Portugal to tackle the 750m swim, 20k bike ride and 5k run.
A strong swim from the 16-year-old saw her exit the water in first place and a good transition meant Draper was in the lead pack of three on the bike.
After trying to make several unsuccessful breaks from Portuguese challengers Melanie Santos and Luisa Condeco, the trio, now joined by Brit Maddie Winzer, all went into the second transition in close proximity.
After coming out first on to the two-lap course, Draper forged a healthy lead of 15 seconds on the opening lap.
However, her lack of recent training caught up with her and Winzer and Condeco overtook her on the way to the finish.
Draper crossed the line in third and had to be treated for heat exhaustion at the end of the event.
“I honestly couldn’t have given it anymore,” said Draper. “As much as I would loved to have won I have to accept that some days my best just isn’t enough to win.”
There was disappointing news for the young athlete as she was not selected for the Great Britain team, which will compete at the World Junior Championships in October.
However, she can take comfort that she still has two years to reach the competition, which will be held in London in 2013.