Camden "Cricket" Richter is a triple threat in the international triathlon circuit

Camden "Cricket" Richter is a triple threat in the international triathlon circuit

Star triathlete talks about the mental and physical pressures of swimming, cycling and running

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Camden trains hard, six days a week.
Photo: David Wong/SCMP

Camden "Cricket" Richter is a star athlete on the rise, but Cricket's just her nickname, not her sport. The Hong Kong International School student is getting ready to compete in the World Triathlon Championship in Chicago, in the US, on Friday.

Camden, 17, is more than ready to take on the world's top triathletes. The international triathlon - where competitors swim for 750 metres, then cycle for 20km and finally run for 5km - is a test of physical strength and mental toughness, but dealing with stress is nothing new to Camden.

Camden never lets her nerves affect her performance. "It's all about a mental game," she told Young Post before heading to Chicago. "All I have to do is to stay focused and be confident. I'm feeling good to be part of the competition where all the best triathletes are."

Camden is among the top female triathletes in the world. She came in sixth at the Asian Championships in New Taipei City in June, clocking a time of one hour, 13 minutes, 13 seconds. And just last month at the US Youth-Junior National Championship in Ohio, she improved on that time by clocking 01:06:51 for a ninth-place finish.

A triathlete can't rely on luck when the big day arrives, so Camden trains six days a week to prepare herself. She focuses more on swimming because performing well in the first section of the triathlon will give her more confidence and strength for the other challenges.

Each week she does around five, 90-minute swimming sessions, four long runs (with one interval / speed session), and cycles two or three times. Her favourite practices are brick sessions, a sort of mini-triathlon task.

Camden has a lot of potential to become a leading athlete as she is always pushing herself to win. She credits her coaches with inspiring her to leave her mark on the sport. "Every time I set a goal, I fight for it with multiple training sessions and perseverance," she says.

"I will achieve it and hit an even better time. Success doesn't mean number one, fame and praise. I am not going to compare myself with other people, it's about challenging myself."

Camden always finds a way to stay positive, which is important for an athlete, because attitude is almost as essential as effort in this sport.

"I have experienced failure so many times, but it helps me grow," she says. "It teaches me many valuable lessons that enable me to push forward to a better performance."

With the right frame of mind, and with plenty of training, Camden is in a good position for Friday's race in Chicago. Her friends, family, and coaches will be cheering her on, and so will all the staff at Young Post!


Bench notes

Who's your favourite athlete?
I look up to the most talented [US triathlete] Gwen Jorgensen, who inspires me to get to her level one day.

What music do you listen to when you train?
I love upbeat music that motivates me to perform better.

What's your favourite subject?
Biology. I think I will study it at university.

Do you prefer making friends with sporty people?
I like to be friends with all kinds of people, no matter if they are sporty or artistic, although my best friend is also a triathlete and it's really nice having friends to train with.

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
I wish I could teleport, so I could meet my family and friends around the world and go to beautiful places.

Where is your favourite place to go?
My favourite place is Newport, Rhode Island, in the US, where I enjoy the summer.

What's the one food you will never give up?
That's really a hard question for me … I love every kind of food and cannot pick just one.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Camden's a triple threat

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