Tanya battles to world gold in sweltering China

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A Queenstown athlete overcame giardia and injury to collect gold and bronze medals at recent world champs in China. 

Tanya Dromgool, 26, won gold in her 25-29 age group in the world aquathon champs, and finished second overall. 

Four days later she won bronze in her age group at the world triathlon champs and finished third overall.
Both champs were held on the triathlon course used for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. 

Dromgool arrived in China after almost three months training and racing for a semi-professional triathlon team in Germany. 

Her preparation, however, was hampered by foot injury and an illness, which was diagnosed as giardia when she returned to Queenstown last week. 

“I was finishing training sessions and spewing – Germany had been very hot, 38 degrees, so I thought it was heat stroke,” she says. 

The world champs were her first aquathon, which comprises a run, a swim and another run. 

“The hardest bit was running then getting in the water, as it was really hard to breathe.” 

Dromgool battled 30-plus temperatures in China, too. 

Her third placing in the triathlon was her best result, she says, and gave her confidence that she can join the elite or professional circuit by the end of next year. 

Meantime, she intends using this summer for base training before rejoining her German team in the middle of next year – “I’ve left half my stuff there so it means I have to go back.”