Emma Snowsill has withdrawn from the 2011 Mooloolaba ITU World Cup just days out from the season opener.
The Olympic champion is frustrated at the news but buoyed by the fact it is only a minor foot injury and that she will be ready for the opening round of the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship in Sydney on April 10.
Snowsill has been getting treatment in the last week and was advised not to run in an attempt to get it right before Mooloolaba although it hasn’t affected her swimming or cycling.
“It’s really a precautionary measure not to compete this weekend.Â Although I’m eager to race again I have to resist the temptation and think of the bigger picture,” said Snowsill.
“The complaint is a minor one with some inflammation in my heel.
“I made the decision not to race with my coach and physio to give my ankle the best chance to completely heal.”
Triathlon Australia and AIS Head Coach Shaun Stephens said today: “I saw Emma last week and she complained of a minor heel complaint and Triathlon Australia is certainly fully supportive of her decision to withdraw from Mooloolaba.
“Triathlon is a very demanding sport these days and when you have Olympic selection on top of everything else, you can’t afford to take any chances.
“We are encouraging all of our athletes to get on top of all these niggles early and not to exacerbate any of their injuries so they are ready to race throughout the World Championship Series.
“Although it is disappointing and is an important race on the Australian calendar she doesn’t want to do anything that could impact on Olympic selection.
“Emma has come off a long block of uninterrupted training and it really is in her best interests to skip Mooloolaba and to be fully fit for the opening round of the World Championship Series in Sydney and for the rest of the Series.
“It is quite a minor injury; the kind of thing that can be aggravated by running up hills and Mooloolaba is quite a demanding course and at this stage we don’t want to flare it up.
“I don’t see it being a major impact in terms of her Championship season; the only thing is that she will go into Sydney without having a race under her belt; she’ll be a little underdone.
“But in saying that it might also be a good thing because it is going to a long, tough year and it is important that Emma is ready to perform when it counts.”
Mooloolaba has been a good omen for Snowsill in previous years, her epic battle with Portugal’s Vanessa Fernandes in 2008 will long be remembered.
“I’m really sorry not to be competing but will still be heavily involved in the weekend with a lot activities,” said Snowsill.
Mooloolaba is the first World Cup of the 2011 ITU season and a host of international stars are out to welcome the new triathlon year on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.
In the men’s field, reigning world champion Javier Gomez kicks off his season, but Australia’s Brad Kahlefeldt and Courtney Atkinson both race well in Mooloolaba and would love to one up Gomez early in the season.
The women’s field boasts four members of the ITU Gold Group, Emma Moffatt, Lisa Norden, Kate Roberts and Paula Findlay, as well as highly credentialed contenders like Barbara Riveros Diaz and previous winners Kirsten Sweetland and Vendula Frintova.
As 2011 is the only full season of Olympic qualifying races, every World Cup, Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series race and Continental Championship has points on offer so expect the racing to be fast and furious from the very start.