The decision of Virginia Berasategui

The Basque triathlete Virginia Berasategui, 2003 long distance world champion and third in the Ironman of Hawaii at the 2009, has announced its withdrawal of the high level triathlon at the end of this season to face "new personal challenges" that will continue to be related to the world of sports.



   "The body was asking me for a break and my priorities are changing, it has been a very thoughtful decision," he said at a press conference at the Bilbao City Hall where he was accompanied by the mayor of the town, Iñaki Azkuna. .


   The Bilbao councilor has highlighted the qualities of "effort and sacrifice" of the athlete, values ​​"very bilbaínos", as pointed out.


   The intention of the triathlete is to get involved in new projects and be close to the sports brands that have accompanied her during the 25 years dedicated to this discipline. However, he has acknowledged that "there is an exciting season ahead" in which he will try to be at his level in competitions such as World Long Distance Championship or Alpe D'Huez Triathlon.


   Berasategui, who has been visibly moved, has thanked "all these years of support" in a special way to her family, which has helped her to "pass those bad moments", and recognized to be "proud" of them, also of Luis Zubero, the man who in 1991 left him one of his first racing bicycles. "Thank you all for always being close to me," he said.


   Now, she pointed out, she is "excited" to face new challenges, both personal and professional, to give "the maximum", just as she has done "during all my years of competition".



   Berasategui has assured that the decision to retire at the end of this season has been "very thoughtful", and has warned that getting up every morning to train is "increasingly difficult" and the water "is getting colder."


   "Every time it costs me more to say no when my friends call me to stay and I am a restless person who has many projects in mind," he said, adding that "the easy thing" would have been to "continue for two more years", because he sees himself "with the strength to endure".


   However, he has considered that he has already achieved "everything" in the world of triathlon and now the "stimuli and demands" of his head and body speak of "other projects". "I feel that the triathlon has already given me everything I had to give," he said.


   For its part, Azkuna recalled the recognition of Ilustre de Bilbao received by the athlete in 2011, and highlighted the "impressive" curriculum of Berasategui. "She has been a representative of Bilbao that has won countless races and has taken the name of our city to the world," he said.


   Born in Bilbao at 1975, Virginia Berasategui debuted in the 1988 triathlon with a victory and reaped her first international triumph at 1990. With 16 years, she made her debut in the World Championships of the discipline, being the youngest athlete of the Championship.


   In addition, she was chosen as best Spanish absolute triathlete of the 20th century by the Spanish Triathlon Federation, and is the only athlete who has been champion of Spain junior and absolute duathlon and triathlon in the same year (1994).


   Berasategui has been, also, the first and only Spanish in getting up to the podium of the Ironman of Hawaii, the most prestigious event in the world in triathlon, finishing in third place in the 2009. In 2004 and 2005, she was the winner of the Ironman of Lanzarote, adding to the thirty first places she has won in triathlon races all over the world.


   "The hours of effort and sacrifice have been endless to reach the highest of the triathlon, a sport that makes 25 years ago my passion, my life, and later my profession," he concluded.


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