Suzie nets bronze and sets her sights on silver

Suzie nets bronze and sets her sights on silver

10 July 2019

SAINTFIELD’S Suzie Cave has just returned home from the European Triathle Championships with a bronze medal.

Triathle, a shoot, swim and run competition, is a new discipline for the civil servant as she has concentrated on the modern pentathlon in recent years.

“My focus now is the Traithle World Championships in Florida in October, but before then I will hopefully have both the laser run Europeans in Germany and Masters Modern Pentathlon European Championships in Hungary,” she said.

Coincidentally, Suzie also took part in the Laser Run City Tour the next day — a run and shoot — and won it.

Madeira provided the idyllic setting for the triathlete championships and Suzie enjoyed every minute of the competition.

“The championships were an experience and a half. I knew the competition level would be majorly raised – so I was approaching them with the attitude that they would be good experience for me  — I did not have any expectations,” she added.

“I went with the attitude to just to do my own race and enjoy being there — that anything after that would be a bonus. I knew with this only being the third time I had done triathle, I really couldn’t expect much against the pros.  

“So, to medal at this event was one of the biggest surprises I have had in my life.  I knew I was strong at the British level, but I had never done an international before to know where I might lie. I’m still in shock,” she confessed.

The highly-dedicated athlete didn’t start the competition that well, but she recovered well to lift bronze.

“I had a bad first shoot, which I put down to nerves. I then I had to work my way from the back over the next few circuits.

Good shoots and strong running in the next three circuits is what helped to pull me up to bronze,” she continued.

“Madeira was amazing. Stunning scenery and great food, most importantly.

The weather was fantastic, the water was calm, pretty warm and clear, which was ideal, considering this was my first time swimming outdoors and not in pool. 

It was very much a learning experience for me too.

No one is more surprised at Suzie’s success than Suzie herself, but she admits that she still has a lot to learn. 

“I’m extremely surprised how well I have adapted to the sport.  I knew it could play to my strengths eventually, but being new to it, I wasn’t expecting to be as competitive just yet. I still have so much to learn and improve on, which makes it exciting,” she enthused.

“Over the next few months I will have to chat with coaches and make a decision on the event I want to focus on the most.

I will continue training all five events, but I think my main aim will be the Triathle Worlds in October in Florida.  

Suzie now feels that the time is right to put her toes into local waters so that she can improve her swimming discipline.

“Now I’ve had a taste of open water swimming, its time to brave the Northern Ireland waters, so I can perfect my technique and become more efficient at sighting and swimming round buoys,” she continued.

“I will also be back in the gym building on my strength again. It’s an important part of my training which I have to not over do during competition.

“I cannot wait for World Championships in Florida,” she beamed,

“The competition level will be fierce, so I’ll be going with no expectations. My parents couldn’t make it out to Madeira, but- luckily it was all streamed live so they could watch it from home.

“However, they are going to come out to Florida with me. In, fact I think a number of my family and friends will come.  Not to see me of course, any excuse for a trip to Florida.

“I have only been to New York for a couple of days before so I’m excited to see more of America.

The competition is in Tampa Bay, which I found out is only a few hours drive from Orlando. I think I’m mostly excited about that.”