LANGKAWI: A car accident broke her back, but not her will. And former Langkawi Ironman champion, Australian Susan Peter has defied the odds to be here for the triathlon.
The primary school teacher in Adelaide was cycling a year ago when a car hit her from behind.
She suffered a broken back and found herself out of action which could stop her from making a comeback.
But she was back training on her fourth month. She took part in the South Korea Ironman last year and finished fourth.
Susan, who won the inaugural Langkawi Ironman in 2000, said injuries could not stop her from competing.
I am a very determined athlete and was confident that I will recover to take part in triathlons.
I missed the Langkawi race last year because of the accident. However, I am back this year to throw a stronger challenge to the other women athletes, said Susan, who has a personal best of 9 minutes and 40 seconds.
Susan took up triathlon in 1998 and since then has been addicted to this most gruelling of sports.
She made her debut in the Langkawi Ironman in 2000 and won the race in 9'55:17.
A year later, she finished third behind Belinda Cheney of Australia and Natascha Badmann of Switzerland.
Susan said she loved to compete in Langkawi because it was a beautiful island and there was not much traffic here compared to other places.
Here I will be able to compete without having to worry about the traffic. Besides, the weather is much cooler this time than it was two years ago.
The Langkawi Ironman will be an interesting race this year because the change of the course in swimming and cycling, said Susan.
Asked about her chances of winning, she said: In Ironman, nobody is a sure winner. Every athlete is competing against himself or herself rather than against other opponents.
However, the athlete with strong mental and physical strength has the edge, she said.