Sixty seconds with: Ryan Sissons

Kiwi elite Athlete Ryan Sissons. Photo / Photosport
Kiwi elite Athlete Ryan Sissons. Photo / Photosport

You are coached by Chris Pilone again, and training with Andrea Hewitt. How has that influenced your preparations?

Pilone was coaching me before London and decided to take a break. I was gutted, but here we are. He's back. I started training with Andrea last year. The circumstances [over her partner Laurent Vidal's death] were unfortunate, but we managed to continue training together as a group which gets along well, works hard and has fun.

Does the fact Pilone has been there and done that - as Hamish Carter's coach in his gold medal-winning Athens campaign - help your mindset?

He knows what it's like, how it's done and offers great insight, but there are also differences between when Hamish was racing to what we're doing now. It almost makes it a completely different sport.

One similarity might be the hills in Rio. You've been on the course.

Is that a fair comment when comparing it with Athens?

It's not as hilly as Athens, but there's one on the course and we do it eight times [on the bike]. It's hard, but not super long. I would love a hard bike course. That would suit me because it could break up athletes more and tire them out to make a slower run. Add in the heat and Rio could work in my favour more than London.

You and former Olympic triathlete Kris Gemmell once had a lot to do with each other. Do you still liaise much?

He's involved all the time. He's not doing any coaching but I think he helps Pilone a lot, as someone he can bounce ideas off and challenge him.

How well can you and fellow Kiwi Tony Dodds work together?

Everyone has a style and I race differently to Tony. We probably don't complement each other that much. I can't help him and he can't help me, because he's generally out of the swim earlier.

You've been in the top eight a couple of times in world series events during the Olympic qualification period. How can you find a way to the podium?

In my race in Abu Dhabi this year, I played it safe to get seventh [and qualify for Rio]. I was happy but also frustrated because I could have pushed for the podium. With less pressure in the next few races, I'm going to experiment with techniques that work best to get me there in Rio.

- Herald on Sunday

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