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Triathlon - 14. August 2008.

Vanessa Fernandes confident but respectful of competition

2007 World Champion speaks to media at Portuguese NOC Press Conference

Beijing 2008Beijing, China (August 13, 2008) - Portuguese triathlon star Vanessa Fernandes spoke to the media today at a press conference organized by the Portuguese National Olympic Committee. Earlier in the day, Fernandes tested out the triathlon course for the first time since landing in Beijing earlier this week.

Vanessa Fernandes (POR), 2007 world champion:
Fernandes on being perceived as one of the gold medal favourites:
"Every girl is talented. I think any of the 55 women can be in the top three. I'm not stronger than them, I'm just another girl to compete with them. I know I worked for that. This is another test in my life, another part so and another experience and I will learn a lot with another Olympic Games."


"I don't think of myself as the favourite. I only think I can be on the podium if everything will be alright with me. But I know it's not easy because every girl will be 100% and everyone will fight and they will do everything to have their best at these Olympic Games."

On the pressure of being one of the gold medal favourites:
"I'm just going to be Vanessa on race day, just to do my best and take the pressure off my mind and to believe in me and believe in the work I have done in these last few years and last few months and to think that everything is possible."

On having a different approach to the Beijing Games than Athens:
"Everything is different for these Olympics, really different. In my first Olympics I was young. In the race I went with the girls and see what I can do. But in the last four years I won some things and I put my name a little high in triathlon. The mentality is different and my goals are different and I'm growing up."

On the humid conditions for the race:
"The last few years here I felt good but I know the humidity and the weather will be a little difficult for everyone so I don't know but I think I will feel good with this weather."

On whether her confidence has gone down after some less than spectacular results this year:
"I think maybe in the last months maybe a little but I think in the last few stages I have learned a lot with my coaches, only not training physically but psychologically it was very good for that. I think I'm prepared for Monday."

"Maybe I think the girls they think more about how to beat me because of the last few races but that is normal. But every race I learn a lot, I have to control myself in every race and never give up. I think I will be good on Monday."

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