“Angry Bird“, “The Queen of Kona“. However you’d like to refer to Daniela Ryf, it is obvious that the third consecutive victory in Hawaii is the clear goal for the incumbent world champion. The triathlon world is expecting nothing less than the win from her, but what about Daniela herself? What drives the “Angry Bird” in her Kona campaign?
“I never set targets in terms of results, but always in terms of performance. My goal is to repeat the almost perfect race from last year and I see a good chance in doing so after the last few weeks.”
Having several issues with injuries and illnesses in springtime, Daniela is back on track. Whoever doubted her fitness level got a clear demonstration of her strength at the Ironman 70.3 world championships in August. With a safe victory over her competitors, Daniela showed that she is ready for the big race in Kona; but so are her competitors. With many strong rookies, like Lucy Charles for example — who has already beaten Daniela this season, the challenge is on.
“There will be some very strong swimmers going all-out from the start to drop me as early as possible. Actually I think that would be a positive scenario because it always motivates me to chase down competitors.”
This sparks the question, how does Daniela motivate herself during the races, as oftentimes there is no one left early on the bike to chase down? Could it even be the men’s race that influences her race indirectly?
“I really liked the fact that men & women had separate races at the 70.3 worlds. Still, in Kona you try to push yourself with lots of small tricks, so whenever I see someone ahead of me – no matter if it’s a man or a woman – I try to focus and chase down that athlete.”
Regardless of how the race unfolds and no matter who’s standing on top of the podium, one can be sure that Daniela Ryf will give it her all on October 14th. Stay tuned to see where this performance will lead her.
DANIELA’S #FLATOUTFAST MOMENT
“For me it’s about the last 20k on the bike. There is a certain risk of letting go, as you’re already thinking about the run and oftentimes headwind makes it even harder. If you keep pushing in that part and go #FLATOUTFAST, you may not win the race, but you can clearly set an important advantage for the run.”