‘I can’t believe it!’ – Sara Perez Sala reflects on career-best victory at The Championship

Spaniard surprised herself again by besting some top tier talent at Challenge Family's showpiece event

Chief Correspondent
Last updated -

A winner already this season at Challenge Mogan Gran Canaria, Spain’s Sara Perez Sala is still working on her self confidence skills.

In collecting the winner’s prize of €15,000 by topping the podium on Sunday against a quality field to win The Championship at the x-bionic sphere in Samorin, hopefully that will be another indication that she truly does ‘belong’.


I try to believe it!

It’s one that may take a while to sink in:

“Yes, this is my best result. I’m very happy because I can’t believe it, but I try to believe it!”

When I highlighted to her that she was up against the defending champion (Lucy Buckingham), an IRONMAN 70.3 World Championship silver medallist (Emma Pallant-Browne) and a World Triathlon Grand Final winner (Ashleigh Gentle) to name just three, I asked her if she believed before the race that victory in Slovakia was even a possibility:

“No! For me it was an incredible experience to race with the best athletes, because Emma, Lucy, Ashleigh they are really good athletes and I want to be like them. For me I thought that if I can make the podium, it’s great for me, but winning I thought was impossible.”

Sara Perez Sala The Championship 2022 run course
Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade

Aerodynamic plays dividends

As well as her ever impressive swim speed, Perez Sala is building quite a reputation on the bike too. One of the most aerodynamic looking athletes on two wheels, did she feel that was a significant asset today? Along with her highest ever bike power, of course…

“I think the most important thing is that I love flat races. I feel really comfortable in aero position and I can push a lot of watts – for me anyway! – in this position. Today was hard, because the wind was a little bit hard (on the return leg). I think for me having that good position is an advantage.”

Sara Perez Sala The Championship 2022 bike
Photo Credit: Jose Luis Hourcade
John Levison
Written by
John Levison
TRI247's Chief Correspondent, John has been involved in triathlon for well over 30 years, 15 of those writing on these pages, whilst he can also be found commentating for events across the UK.


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