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'Now was the time to do it': Triathlon star Reid making one big change ahead of the Olympics

Reid, 33, is going back to the way things used to be.

Aileen Reid was speaking at the announcement of Electric Ireland's sponsorship of the Irish Olympic team.
Aileen Reid was speaking at the announcement of Electric Ireland's sponsorship of the Irish Olympic team.
Image: Stephen McCarthy/SPORTSFILE

IRELAND’S TOP TRIATHLETE has revealed that she is changing coaches ahead of next summer’s Olympic Games.

Aileen Reid has split from Darren Smith, her coach for the past three years, and will return to work with her old coaching team of Chris Jones and Tommy Evans.

The Derry native, who is currently ranked ninth in the world, hopes that the decision will boost her medal chances in Rio.

“I learned so much from Darren,” Reid said yesterday.

“I came on as an athlete and have been ranked in the top 10 in the world for the past three years so I can only thank him for everything he has taught me.

You want to have a good relationship with your coach and have adult conversations with your coach and sometimes I felt I couldn’t do that. If you feel you have an area of weakness that you want to work on, your coach has to feel that too.

“At times I thought I could be better and I felt if I was going to do it at any time in my life, now was the time to do it. I have a year before Rio so I made the decision to split with Darren.”

Smith coaches a group of top-level triathletes including Olympic silver medallist Lisa Norden and Commonwealth champion Jodie Stimpson, but Reid feels that a more tailored routine will help her to improve on her 43rd-place finish in London in 2012.

Evans is the director of Triathlon Ireland’s high performance team, the position previously held by Jones who himself coached Reid for five years before their amicable parting at the end of 2012.

She added: “Darren had 12 athletes and it was fantastic to be part of a world-class squad and train with those girls and the people you’re going to be racing against.

That was brilliant and I learned so much but there were 12 people there and he had to keep 12 people happy and we didn’t all have the same strengths and weaknesses.

“There was some individual work happening but I feel with Tommy and Chris, it’s all eyes on me and doing whatever is needed to make me the best I can be.”

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Niall Kelly

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