AN elite triathlete impressed on his return to the international stage – three years after a racing accident nearly brought his fledgling career to a premature end.
Oly Stanley, from Upton, finished 28th and 17th in International Triathlon Union European Cup races in Turkey and Israel respectively to continue his recovery after being hit by a car in Rossett in 2007.
Oly, who required numerous operations on his hips following the accident, said: “It is awesome to be back and to be performing at a similar level as I was before.
“I am just trying to enjoy being back at the moment as I have come from not being able to do simple things like walk into town to competing against Olympic medallists.”
After such a lengthy absence from the sport, former Abbey Gate College student Oly has had to ease his way back into training.
“To be honest, I didn't think that I would ever get back to competing – I thought I would be in pain for the rest of my life”, said Oly, who is currently studying for a masters degree in sports management at Loughborough University.
“I was in a lot of pain when I first started training and found, due to the operations I have had on my hips, the running training extremely difficult.
“I had no real training prior to the Turkey event and managed about three months of running training, which is no way near enough.
“The rest of the field were able to train fully and have no interruptions, but I wasn't able to have that level of preparation.”
After the races in Turkey and Israel, Oly closed out his season with a fourth-placed finish at the British Universities and Colleges Duathlon Championships and now has one eye firmly fixed on the London 2012 Olympics Games.
“London 2012 is something that I am definitely aiming for but I have a lot of work to do yet if I am going to be in with a shout,” said Oly.
“There is a points system and I need to get my fitness right back up there with the other competitors so that, when it comes to the 2011 season, I'll be in a good position to get those points.
“I know I’m good enough, but I have to be sensible and listen to my body.”