Zaferes fired up for title defence

Katie Zaferes has had the year of her triathlon life and the crowd favourite is fit and raring to go for the defence of her hard-earned Super League title.

The 30-year-old American secured the 2018 Super League Triathlon Championship Series crown with a dominant season.

The good form she produced fed into an amazing year on the ITU circuit where she backed up her Super League honour with a maiden WTS title.

She even bounced back from a crash at the Tokyo Olympic Test event which left her with a broken nose and 23 stitches in her mouth to win the World Series Grand Final just two weeks later.

Zaferes really is at the very top of the triathlon tree at the moment and a heavy favourite for both the race win at RBC Super League Triathlon Jersey 2019 and the Series.

Of course, a new season will bring with it fresh challenges and new opposition, but Zaferes has absolutely nothing to fear.

We caught up with her as she finished her preparations for racing in Jersey.

Katie, it’s been an amazing year for you. Super League champion, WTS champion. How does that feel? Has it sunk in yet?

It feels so good! These are goals I wrote down in my journal at the beginning of the year and it’s been amazing to execute the process in order to achieve these outcomes.

I’m not sure if it’s fully sunk in, but it sure feels good!

You’ve battled through injuries and crashes in the past months and come through it all. How are you feeling ahead of Jersey?

I’m feeling really good.

Luckily my recovery from my crashes was really swift and I am so thankful for that.

I took a little down time to regroup so that all cylinders will be firing mentally and physically for Jersey.

Is it daunting to be defending your title?

It always adds a bit of pressure, but also I like the challenge.

I don’t really focus on the title defending, but rather executing each race and each discipline of each race which for Super League adds up fast!

What sort of competition do you expect this year? Who are the big threats?

There’s always stiff competition at the Super League events.

To be honest I haven’t looked at the confirmed start list, so I’m excited to see who will be there.

You must have some great memories of racing in Jersey. What are the highlights for you?

For sure winning is a great memory from Jersey, but the support and atmosphere is the most unforgettable.

The energy of the crowds transferred into my racing and helped me to keep pushing through all the pain.

Super League provides a pretty unique challenge for athletes. What is the key to dealing with these races and what are problems for athletes to overcome?

The key is to stay focused on the moment and prepare for each race one at a time without looking too far ahead.

These races can be overwhelming as a whole but broken down they are a bit more manageable.

The problems for athletes to overcome are just making sure that they take one race at a time and really make sure they know the format and the course so they can more easily prepare for what’s to come.

Finally, you have become a real crowd favourite at Super League races. How important is that support to you when you are racing?

It’s crucial! The support is what keeps me going when the races really start to hurt.

It brings me out of my head and the pain of racing and into the atmosphere surrounding me.

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