University-based triathlete Vicky Holland hoping to put injury troubles firmly behind her at 2018 Commonwealth Games
Triathlete Vicky Holland says the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games were “a career-defining moment” for her – and she is hoping the Gold Coast 2018 edition will provide a similar milestone after a year plagued by injury problems.
The Rio 2016 Olympic bronze-medallist will be the first of the 30 University of Bath-based sportspeople at the Games to compete in a final when she lines up in the women’s individual competition on Thursday (12.31am BST).
It will be only her third race since Holland suffered a serious calf injury that ruled her out for much of 2017 – the only competition she was able to take part in that year having secured her qualification for the Commonwealth Games.
“It was the first time I’d had a major injury that had impacted so much of a season and it was hard but I always knew I had the goal of the Commonwealth Games,” said Holland, who is coached by partner Rhys Davey at the University-based Bath Triathlon Centre.
“Major Games are what I love, they are what drive me and why I do sport. Achieving a podium result in Glasgow was a career-defining moment for me, it made me really believe I could achieve more.”
Since winning individual bronze and mixed team gold with Team England four years ago, Holland has enjoyed multiple podium finishes on the world stage including that Olympic bronze in Rio and gold at this year’s Cape Town ITU Triathlon World Cup in South Africa.
Born and raised in Gloucestershire, she moved back to the South West from Leeds – the location of British Triathlon’s national centre – at the start of 2017 and uses the University’s world-class Sports Training Village facilities, including the indoor and outdoor athletics tracks and Olympic-sized London 2012 Legacy Swimming Pool.
“Leeds was an incredible place for me and really set me on the right path but it felt like the right time to move,” said Holland, who will also compete in the mixed team relay on Saturday, April 7 (4.01am BST).
“It feels like coming full circle – I started my athletics career being based here at the University once a week with the South West Performance Team and I used to come here to use the swimming pool as a teenager.”
The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games are running from April 4-15 and will feature 30 University of Bath-based athletes representing eight countries across five sports. Click here to see a full list of who has been selected.