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Triathlon: interview with David McNamee

The one and only chosen Scottish triathlete David McNamee will represent his home country for the first time this summer.

On average the 26-year-old from Irvine represents Great Britain up to six times a year but he has yet to race for Scotland.

This year is different.

McNamee said: "The World Championships are generally the biggest events but this year I think my focus is on the Commonwealth Games, being a home athlete makes it all the more special."

Triathlon wasn't part of the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010 so Glasgow will be putting the sport back into the spotlight.

On top of that, Glasgow 2014 will host a mixed relay event, a unique addition to the Commonwealth Games.

McNamee said: "It is really exciting, I've done a couple of relay events in the past and it's something that's sort of chaotic, there's a lot going on at the same time.

"I think to be honest it's going to be one of the most exciting events of the whole games and it's quite a spectacle."

He hopes the venue at Strathclyde County Park will play to his strengths in July. McNamee believes he performs best at courses that wear others down.

"Strathclyde's not a particularly fast course but it's an all round test for triathletes and certainly not easy but it should suit me," he said.

The life of a professional triathlete is spent on the move as the title for world champion is fought out over a series of races. This year has already seen competitions in Auckland and Cape Town, and most recently Japan. The next will be in London's Hyde Park on May 31.

McNamee will be back in Stirling training with the rest of the Scottish team - who are still to be selected - two weeks before the competition.

In McNamee's opinion, Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon are developing into world class triathletes and would be hard to look past but thinks it is wide open for the girls.

He's been back in Scotland recently and was pleased by the growing excitement around the Games saying: "It's amazing the buzz that's around the place, while training down south it isn't so prominent but up here it's great to hear a lot of people talking about it."

As McNamee races with his competitors multiple times each year, he knows who to watch out for. He'll be keeping his eyes on five competitors.

The list includes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee, the English brothers who took Olympic gold and bronze medals, respectively. On top of them there is the Aussie Aaron Royale and the Kiwi Ryan Sissons as well as the South African Richard Murray.

"We generally race together five, six or seven times a year so we all know each other well and know each others strengths and weaknesses.

"It's good on the one hand knowing roughly how it will pan out but you can't rely on that because it's triathlon and anything can happen," he explained.

He won't be relying on any lucky charms or special routines when he comes head-to-head with the world's best triathletes in the Games though. He said: "I try to stay away from that because if you have a superstition and you can't do it then you might freak out."

McNamee hasn't always been devoted to triathlons. As a kid he was a swimmer.

He said the change happened in his teens: "When I got to 16 - 17 I realised that I'd lost my passion for swimming so I entered a triathlon in Edinburgh on New Years Day and got hooked on the sport.

"It's the variety that keeps me interested, obviously involves swimming, cycling and running so you never get bored with training."

McNamee's training period is in full swing and he will be working hard for his first appearance representing Scotland.

His message to spectators is: "Come along and watch. Anyone can come along and it's free. It's not often you get to come and watch something for free."

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