Spanish para-triathlete Eva María Moral Pedrero believes this weekend’s World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi, presented by Daman, can help inspire People of Determination in the UAE to follow in her footsteps and compete in the top-level of sport.
Pedrero, 40, will be among thousands of athletes that will be descending on Yas Marina Circuit for the season-opener of the prestigious global event when she takes part in Friday’s Para World Cup race at Yas Island.
It will be the second time that she will be competing in the UAE capital after the World Triathlon Championship Finals last November and while she praised the country in providing opportunities to support People of Determination including staging events such as triathlon, she wants to show that ‘anything is possible’ this week.
She said: “I think it's very important that sporting events such as the para-triathlon are taking place around the world as we need visibility to show that anything is possible and create opportunities for people to do this sport. Abu Dhabi is a place that has great weather and the facilities are excellent while it’s a place where they are staging competitions and doing a lot in supporting people of all abilities including People of Determination.”
The Abu Dhabi race will be the start of an important year for Pedrero as she sets her sights on the World Championship Finals in Pontevedra and the European Championships which takes place in Spain in June.
The 2018 European champion said: “My main objectives for this year is to do well in the World Championship Finals and European Championships. It will not be easy as all women in my category are strong and all are at a similar level. I believe anything is possible in any race which is why I am training as hard as possible every day.
“The Abu Dhabi race is important for me as it is basically the start of the qualifying process for the Olympics Games in Paris and I need to get as many points as possible to improve my ranking.”
This year will also see her compete in her first full season and only the second race since giving birth in June. Eva says she has to prepare her training schedules differently given she’s now a mother and is enjoying triathlon even more.
She said: “I would say life is a lot different. I now need to prepare for my sport differently while having the responsibility to look after my baby. Now when I train, I feel I have extra motivation to do well and I think I feel more stronger than before as a mother.”
In September 2014, Eva was involved in a car accident while riding her bike in the mountains, which left her paraplegic. However, that setback has not deterred her aspirations of what she wants to achieve in the sport.
She said: “I've always liked triathlon even before I had my accident and it’s something that still motivates me to go further. It can be challenging since I need to swim, run and cycle but it’s a sport that I will always love as it’s a passion of mine.”