By BRAD GREENSHIELDS
ELITE triathlete and former Coffs Harbour girl Emma Moffatt is in a race against time to be fit for this season's opening event in Perth.
Suffering from a niggling calf injury, Moffatt will subject herself to a fitness test on a troublesome calf injury before deciding whether to compete or not.
"I've got a bit of tightness in my calf and there's also an achilles problem," the 22 year-old said.
"For the last week I haven't been doing any running and resting it. I should be right to go this weekend though, I've been doing plenty of icing with physio and massage for it."
Even if the injury was causing last year's under world championship silver medallist a great deal of discomfort, it's unlikely that Moffatt would let it interrupt her campaign in 2007.
The carrot dangling in front of every triathlete during this season is the knowledge that a string of strong performances in 2007 will go a long way to ensuring selection in the team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
"The selection for Beijing is basically discretionary so you've got to go as well as you can in all the races to get a position on the team," she said.
"It's hard though because Australia has such a strong field that anyone you throw in on the day could do the job but Beijing is definitely a goal."
To reach a goal at that level, it takes a lot of hard work and preparation. That's something that Moffatt certainly hasn't taken any short cuts with.
To list the amount of training that she has completed to get to her current level of fitness would take most of today's paper, let alone a small story.
"I've done a big endurance block since before Christmas up until now," she said modestly.
"Basically I've been trying to get a good fitness base that will get me through the season." The fitness base is needed as barely an ounce of energy will be left behind after she completes the Perth event on Sunday which covers a 750 metre swim in the Swan River, a 20km cycle leg along Riverside Drive followed by a 5km run around Langley Park.