Part Two Caitlin Adams
Long-distance runner Caitlin Adams is used time competing at the Summer Universiade in Naples, Italy, as a stepping-stone to reach higher levels of competition.
Adams competed in the 5000-metre race while representing the Uniroos at the event in July.
While the UniSA Bachelor of Human Movement student has represented Australia before at Cross Country Championships across the world, it was the first time that she had been selected in an Australian athletics team.
For her, that was what made competing at the Summer Universiade so important, especially when going into an Olympic year in 2020.
“For athletics, the World Uni Games is the next stepping-stone to things like the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics,” Adams said.
“It’s been a goal of mine since I heard about the Universiade in Taipei two years ago and I have really been working towards it.
“It was amazing to be selected in my first athletics team with the best talent and going to an event that is recognised around the world.
“It’s definitely the highest level of athletics I have been involved in and it was especially different having the whole village life and all the sports.”
In hot conditions in Italy, Adams finished eighth in the 5000m event, which was impressive given she had to run a heat and final for the first time.
That experience of having to run two races back-to-back is the main learning Adams took out of Naples.
“I was pretty happy with an eight position, I was hoping for a little higher but the learning experience of heat and final will be good to take on for next time,” Adams said.
“We had to turn around and recover quick smart and I will work on having two races close together because that is foreign to me.”
Off the track, Adams and the Australian team had the unique experience of staying on a cruise ship that was docked in the harbour.
The ship was close to the heart of Naples, so the team were able to explore the city and culture.
“Naples was so driven around food, so a group of us would walk over, look at the shops, go to cafes, and eat pizza and gelati,” she said.
“One of the athletics tracks was overlooking the bay so it was great to see that view and we took ferries over to the islands such as Capri.
“We were there for two weeks, so we really got to immerse ourselves in the culture and it was just amazing.”