Five months may have passed since Ben Dijkstra missed out on an individual U23 medal at the World Triathlon Grand Final, but his performance still rankles with him.

Leicester-born Dijkstra, who lives in Burton on the Wolds, headed to Lausanne last September with hopes of a podium place after returning to full fitness.

But his decision to try to close the gap on the leading group in the opening stages of the bike section backfired as he finished in eighth place.

“I didn’t have my best swim, so I was chasing quite early on when on the bike,” said the 21-year-old.

“Within three or four minutes I reached the leaders but then a few guys attacked going up the hill.

“They created a small gap and I just wasn’t able to close that.

“I should not have committed so hard for those first few minutes before the hill so I would have had more in reserve for that attack.

“It was something I overlooked which changed the dynamic of my race.

“I am still kicking myself now because I went into the race in good form. I finished eighth when I was hoping for the top five or the podium.

“I produced the fastest run but as I wasn’t in that lead group there was only so far up the board I could get.

“Hopefully I won’t allow that to happen again.”


Turning up the heat @ Wednesday Worlds with the boys 🔥🥈#attackofftheback #headdownthumbsup 📸: @adamweathered

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Dijkstra will hope to make amends when he travels to Edmonton, Canada for this year’s World Triathlon Grand Final in August.

But before he can focus his attention on that, Dijkstra is looking to get himself in prime condition with a crucial training block in Australia.

“I had a dip in form in the middle part of last season and didn’t quite get as much out of those races as I would have hoped,” he said.

“That was a time for reflection for me. I had been quite busy with racing and university commitments, but I was missing a training block and that was reflected in the results.

“I have got seven or eight months until the worlds and I really need to commit to this next training block and ensure that all the work gets done.”

Dijkstra suffered a big injury blow in 2018 which ruled him out for much of that year, but he believes that setback has made him a more mature triathlete.

“I had a stress fracture in my femoral neck,” said the athlete, who studies sports technology at Loughborough University.

“It came from a bit of inconsistency in training and spiking of volume. That injury was not something I would wish upon anyone.

“It was a learning curve for me. I can look back on that now with a bit more maturity knowing what the contributing factors were so I can minimise that going forward.”

Dijkstra, whose first triathlon event came in 2010, says he dreams of one day clinching gold at the Olympic Games.

“Short-term I want to get a few World Series starts and work my way up gradually in the rankings,” he said.

“But long-term I would like to go to the Olympics and win gold – that’s the dream.”

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