Spain's Javier Gomez is one of the world's fastest triathletes but he still had time to sit down for a chat with Taranaki Daily News sports editor Murray Hills ahead of tomorrow's ITU World Cup sprint race in New Plymouth.
Your best win?
"I'm very proud of many. Last year, winning the world champs in London in a sprint finish to win the world title was special."
Your worst moment in the sport?
"I've had a few. A very tough moment was finishing fourth in Beijing [Olympics in 2008]. I was ranked No 1 and had won everything before. I lost in a sprint finish between four people. Bevan [Kiwi Bevan Docherty] beat me for third. That really hurt, I gave it my best."
Your toughest opponent?
"Alistair Brownlee. When he's fit, he's the toughest."
The triathlete you wished you had raced against?
"Mark Allen from the United States . . . he's a real legend of our sport. He won so many times, but I never came up against him . . . different generations."
The best triathlete ever?
"Over the Olympic distance, Alistair Brownlee. He's a machine."
The worst loser or biggest moaner?
"There's a few. I'm not a bad loser, but inside of me, I'm not happy. I just train harder for the next race. A few guys get upset."
The triathlete you most enjoy beating?
"I always enjoy beating the best. And Alistair is the best. I know how hard it is to beat him. And guys like Bevan Docherty, it was always special to beat him because he was such a good athlete."
Do you have any message for Alistair Brownlee?
"Don't shout so much in a race. He's always yelling at people, firing up and telling them to work on the bike leg."
How do you compare the Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonathan?
"Alistair used to be the stronger, but they're getting closer. They're almost on the same level."
The best of the next crop of triathletes?
"Mario Mola, he's really talented. He's the real deal. Last week, he won in Mooloolaba with an amazing performance. He's a real medal contender for Rio."
Rio in 2016, is that your main focus?
"For sure. It's a huge event and it's my main goal."
"I'm not sure. I'll probably move to long distance . . . ironman. I'll look for a new challenge."
So how many years do you have left in the sport at the elite level?
"I'm still enjoying it and I'm motivated for Rio. One day, when I don't feel like training, I'll stop."
In triathlon, which is your strongest discipline?
"When I first started, it was swimming. I came from a swimming background. But now, most races are won on the run, so you have to be a good runner."
- Taranaki Daily News
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