Crowley dishes on the new Kona qualification system, her predictions for October, and her super-Aussie taste in music.

The 2017 Ironman World Championship podium finisher dishes on the new Kona qualification system, her predictions for October, and her super-Aussie taste in music.

2017 was good to Sarah Crowley. To say that she burst onto the scene last year is a bit of a hyperbole because she’s been a formidable force in long-distance triathlon for a few years. But while she had the luxury of lying under the radar last season, she’ll now be a marked woman after finishing third in Kona and winning the ITU long-distance world title.

It’s an exciting position to be in for the Brisbane-based Aussie who trains with coach Cameron Watt’s squad of athletes and the 35-year-old former accountant is looking to move a place or two higher on the podium come October.

“Early on it was Emma Snowsill and a few of the other Aussie triathletes that inspired me to get into the sport. But I don’t know whom I look up to at the moment. I guess I’m trying to blaze my own trail.”

“I train a lot with [swimming phenom and fellow Aussie] Josh Amberger, and we work really well together. There’s a lot I take away from him in the way he conducts himself. He sets a pretty high standard.”

“The fragmentation of the sport [at the pro level] bothers me the most. It’s so disorganized. Ironman at least gives some structure. Outside of that, it’s like it hasn’t moved on to be quite as professional as it could be. I found it very dif cult over the past few years to get the traction and support you need to race well enough. It’s not cheap. You need to be able to pay to play.”

“I’ve spent the last two years on a long building process that all culminated with Kona. I’ve finally had a proper break and have been able to work on areas that we maybe stepped over or pushed through. It’s been nice to have some time without the pressure of having to do a race. The start to this season has definitely been a bit slower, and hopefully that means I can lay a good foundation for this year.”

“My coach and I think the lead group at Kona will be faster this year. I can’t see everyone letting Lucy Charles get away by as much, so that should make the swim packs quicker. So we’ve spent a lot of time on the swim, because I feel like that’s been my weakest area.”

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