Scotland’s David McNamee finished seventh in last year’s Commonwealth Games and looked a genuine contender to make the British team for next year’s Olympic Games.


Yet the 26 year old has taken the decision to abandon the Rio goal and the lottery funding that accompanies it to turn his attention to Ironman racing and qualifying for the 2015 World Championships.

What makes the switch more surprising is McNamee’s 2014 results suggest he has not yet peaked. His 14th place in the ITU Grand Final was set against a bike crash at the start of the year that meant he missed critical months of training and left him with a permanently damaged wrist.

In his first in depth interview since the decision, 220 columnist Tim Heming caught up with him to find out why….

220: Hi David, good to catch up. How’s the training going?

I’m currently in Spain avoiding the cold weather. Scottish Triathlon come out here every year and I’ve tagged along with them for a couple of weeks. I fly to Mallorca on Sunday and join Joel [Filliol’s] squad. I also won the 10k Boxing Day Ayrodynamic Turkey Trot in Ayr in 31:39, which is ok.

If we rewind to winter training last year, describe what happened with the crash in February and the rehabilitation that followed? 

There was a touch of wheels and it was just unfortunate the way I landed. I managed to snap and dislocate both my radius and ulna and also damaged the joints. I had a follow-up operation in September and all the bones have healed now.

I’ll never have proper range of motion in my wrist again but it’s something I’ve adapted to. I don’t have the same strength and range of motion for the catch when swimming, and for biking the saving grace is electronic gears. I can use mechanical shifters a little but after a while it hurts too much, so now I just use Di2. 

Despite the setback, your 2014 results were not a disaster. Talk us through the racing…

The European Championships in Kitzbühel was my first proper race back and I came sixth, the best result I’ve had at the Europeans and that was off just two months of training. I came seventh in the Commonwealth Games, which wasn’t the result I wanted back in January, but [given the crash] I was happy with it. 

Regarding that race in Glasgow, when you reached T2, the Brownlees were away and clear but did you feel you had a chance in the race for bronze [South African Richard Murray who came third is a training partner of David’s]?

I suppose, knowing the run course and how good Richard is when it comes to running up short hard climbs – which isn’t my strength whatsoever – I realised that I’d always struggle. I also knew the shape Richard was in. It was still a tremendous experience, even if the result wasn’t what I dreamt about.