Helen Jenkins out for season

Helen talks about Lucy Hall, dancing on the BBC and why we won’t see her again this season…


Issue ID: September 277


220: How did you spend the week after the race?

Jenkins: I came home for a couple of days after all the media type things and then I went back for the closing ceremony.

Ah yes, we saw you having a good boogey.

I was actually a bit embarrassed afterwards as we hadn’t had anything to drink, it was completely sober dancing! I was thinking, ‘Oh god that looks really bad, but never mind.’

What do you think the future holds for the talented Miss Hall?

I think she has huge potential. The way she swims and her biking has improved so much. I think a lot of people think of Lucy as someone who swims great but doesn’t bike, but when we did our training together she was one of the strongest girls I’ve ever ridden with. She really committed to that and rode well so has great potential for the future.

I think if you go back a couple of years to all the races that were won from the swim/bike, we had Loretta Harrop, Sheila Taormina, Barb Lindquist, those girls were at the front, they’d ride and then they would stay away and didn’t even run that fast. So it depends how Lucy is gonna look at her racing, if she’s gonna focus like that or work on her run.

I think you have to be careful when you say potential for the future. Look at someone like Hollie Avil, who was a young athlete at Beijing and things just go wrong and it’s really sad to see. So it’s important not to put pressure on yourself and not let others put pressure on you.

But you agree with Lucy’s selection for the team?

I agree with the selection policy, because they were working towards a medal, and although we didn’t get that medal the selection policy was still correct. People were surprised by it because they thought the selection panel would pick the obvious choices, but it took a lot of guts for the selection panel to do that. It’s not been done that much in triathlon, it might change the way that teams are picked in the future. Maybe not for world champs because that’s very individual and people are racing for points and money, but in the Olympics when it’s all about medals it may change that.

It’s hard to be the first country to do it and it didn’t pay off in our race because unfortunately I’d had a problem. But I think you can see from the men’s race how well that worked. Alistair and Jonny would have probably done the same in the end [without Stuart Hayes’ help], but having that comfort of having someone there to support them made such a difference.

Alistair’s been very vocal about his views on penalties. What are your thoughts, given what happened to Jonny?

I think if Jonny had lost his medal because of the penalty the whole sport would have looked ridiculous. I‘ve never been a fan of the penalties, I think they’re quite harsh for some of the infringements. Obviously Jonny broke the rules by a few centimeters but does that deserve a 15-second penalty?

I agree that transition shouldn’t be hazardous, there can’t be stuff everywhere. But I don’t know what the better alternative is. It’s worth maybe having a review about it.

So what’s the plan for the rest of the year?

I’m not going to race for the rest of this year. My knee is still sore, so I need to let it heal. I’ve been training on it, through the pain, for 10 weeks so you don’t have the luxury of time when you’re training for the Olympics. If it had happened a few months earlier I would have been able to have rest and recover, but you just don’t have that option.

Helen was speaking on behalf on Speedo (www.speedo.co.uk).


Image: ITU