WHEN Madi Roberts hit wet tram tracks and crashed at high speed on Friday she wasn’t expecting to be a first-time world champion 48 hours later.
“I hit my head pretty hard and had mild concussion,” she said.
“I was so happy I could still race but I was still a bit battered and bruised and it hurt to turn my neck to both sides from the whiplash.
“The win is definitely more rewarding after my crazy lead-up.”
Roberts not only regrouped in time to reach the ITU World Triathlon grand final starting line at Rotterdam, Holland, she powered through the rain-affected age-group race to claim gold.
Roberts admitted she felt “maybe” she could win the event after the crash, but it still came as a surprise.
The 22-year-old acknowledged there were a few mental demons that lasted from the crash.
She overcame a “little bump right at the start of the bike leg” which ensured she was focused for the challenge ahead.
“My wheel skidded out a bit so that reminded me that I needed 100 per cent focus on the entire bike leg,” she said.
“I was nervous, but once I got out there I actually enjoyed it.
“I think my crash on Friday made me grateful that I was still able to race and appreciate the moment.”
Roberts completed the one and a half kilometre swim leg in 21:57 and the 40-kilometre bike leg in 1:06, but it was the run leg where she made her move.
I was still a bit battered and bruised and it hurt to turn my neck to both sides from the whiplash.
She finished the 10-kilometre section in 36:27, but it wasn’t until around 200 metres to go where she led the race.
“I just remember coming around the corner for the blue carpet and being in the lead and just giving it my all until I crossed the line,” she said.
“It makes it so much more rewarding knowing how close it was and how deep I had to dig mentally and physically.”
Not only did Roberts have to overcome a bout of concussion, she was also bedridden for two weeks with bronchitis.
It left her with just eight weeks to prepare for the world championships in the Netherlands.
“I feel like this win was so special just because of all the obstacles I had to overcome to reach it,” she said.
“My coach was amazing and got me in my best condition I've ever been in.
I think my crash on Friday made me grateful that I was still able to race and appreciate the moment.
“Race week was far from smooth sailing with so many things that wrong but I feel like it all happened for a reason and it really did make me stronger and more resilient.”
The Port Macquarie triathlete indicated she may be back in the Hastings for Ironman Australia 70.3 next May.