Interview: Stuart Hayes
Posted by: Annie Emmerson
Posted on: Friday 4th July 2008
Two weeks ago we spoke to Andrea Whitcombe about her disappointment of not making the Beijing Olympic team. Someone else who was also disappointed not to make the team was Stuart Hayes, but unlike Andrea, who had been suffering from a serious injury problem, Stuart's Olympic dream ended not because of illness or injury, but because of a flat tyre. Stuart has been one of the leading British athletes for nearly 15 years. In 2004 he had one of his best years ever, finishing the year as the third ranked athlete in the World, in that same year he just missed out on Olympic selection, but did go to the Games as the number one reserve. Known for his happy go lucky and positive attitude, he has quickly overcome this year's Olympic disappointment and is very excited about his 2008 season as Annie Emmerson found out.
AE The guys that are going to the Olympics all had good races in Madrid, but obviously, the unexpected and quite outstanding result of the day, came from young Al Brownlee. What did you think of his performance?
SH To be honest I think all three of them did really well! It was a real hard man's race and considering the conditions they all guts it out and did a great job, people were really cold on the bike and a lot of people pulled out. Al's performance was amazing, he's an incredibly tough athlete and trains really hard, in fact he'll do anything to get a session in. I remember last year when I was training with him in France, he'd been hit by a car and come off his bike, but the day after he went to the lake with his wetsuit and was trying to swim one armed - the other arm was to sore from the crash - around the lake. I guess he is a bit of nutty, but that's what makes him the athlete that he is and that's how he qualified on the day because he's a hard nut.
AE A lot was made of the weather conditions in Madrid and a few athletes have complained that the conditions were very different to what they will be like in Beijing, what are your thoughts on this?
SH We'll we all had three selection races to try and qualify, but no one did in the first two - the World Championships in Hamburg and the Beijing World Cup - we were fully aware of what was needed to make the team in those first two races so it came down to Madrid. A race is a race, no matter what the conditions are, if it had been boiling hot people would have been moaning that it was too hot. Beijing could be similar to Madrid, as apparently it will be cyclone season, so it could be pouring with rain.
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