Impressive triathlete Reid hopeful of medal in Baku
DERRY triathlete Aileen Reid is over her London Olympic agony and intent on building towards Rio next year as she prepares for her morning start tomorrow at the European Games in Baku.
Reid will be the first athlete to represent Ireland in the inaugural event and is one of their best medal chances having climbed to sixth in the latest world rankings.
With a place in Rio already almost secured, Reid plans to use the event to minimise the chances of a repeat of the bike fall which cost her any chance of a high-placed finish in London.
"London was unfortunate but it was one of those things you have to get over and use to try and turn yourself into a more consistent athlete," said Reid.
"I think the difference between me then and now is I have more experience. I know there will be crashes and sickness and tough times, but it is about how I deal with it and come back."
Reid has more than atoned for her Olympic heartache having rebounded to claim a career-best second place at the 2013 World Series final in the same city.
She took fifth in last year's equivalent event in Edmonton and built up to Baku in impressive fashion with fourth in the World Triathlon Series back in London late last month.
Reid added: "My results have been improving all the time but there is no really specific factor - it is just about talking with my coach and learning where to improve.
"I've always had that belief in myself and it's all about focusing on the small things rather than the results. I can have my perfect race but I still can't control what the others can do.
"A medal in Baku would really mean a lot to me but it is really also about raising the level of awareness of triathlon in Ireland. I feel less pressure and in good shape to go to Baku and do the best I can do."
Ireland's 55-strong team for Baku also includes Olympic and five-time world boxing champion Katie Taylor and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Michaela Walsh.
In addition, Scott Evans will be top seed in the men's singles badminton competition having broken into the world's top 25 for the first time earlier this year.