Triathlon champion keen to defend title in 2017
Athlete Su Tarling is delighted with her unexpected medal haul from the World Transplant Games in Argentina.
After a tough year of training, the former PE teacher came home with three golds and two silvers. Now she would love the chance to renew friendships and defend her virtual triathlon title in Malaga in 2017.
The 46-year-old was part of Great Britain’s gold-medal winning team in the 5k run and also took the individual silver for her age group.
She also won gold in the thrilling sprint finish to the 20k cycle race, her first experience of an intense and tactical road race, having only previously competed in the UK games.
And after completing the 400m swim, her magnificent overall points total ensured Su was the crowned the virtual triathlon champion.
She finished her busy schedule in Mar del Plata with silver in the 50m breaststroke.
“It was all a very overwhelming, marvellous experience, said the Rugby & East Warwickshire Hockey Club member, who fell ill in 2002 and suffered liver failure.
Although her first transplant did not give her the expected recovery, her second in 2003 was a complete success and she now takes part in hospital counselling, helping those awaiting or recovering from transplants.
“This was my first World games and it felt like being part of the Olympics,” Su explained. “There were 107 of us in the Great Britain team and 44 countries represented. The team gelled together very well and although it was competitive, there was a real festival atmosphere.
“I’ve made a lot of new friends for life, both in the Great Britain team and world wide. The games are held every two years and I could see how much people enjoy meeting up time and time again.
“It was a really lovely atmosphere and heart warming to hear other people’s stories about their transplants.”
Su and husband Ed spent two weeks in Argentina and enjoyed visiting Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, before returning home to their two children Josh and Libby.
“The next games are in Malaga, a lot closer to home and I’d love to go and try and retain my title,” added Su.
“I was really thrilled to have done better than I was expecting in Argentina - not just with my medals but my times.
“I was relieved not to have let myself down - and everyone who’s supported me. I didn’t think I would ever represent my country at anything, so when the union jacks were flying I did feel very proud.”
Su’s father Jim Alder was a top distance runner for Scotland and Great Britain.