Reinaldo Colucci has drawn inspiration from the Formula One legend late Ayrton Senna in his bid to become Brazil’s first triathlete to achieve a top 10 finish at the Olympics.

Colucci was confirmed in Brazil’s Olympic squad Monday, having qualified for the event with his gold medal at last year’s Pan American games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Xinhua reported.

He said Senna, Brazil’s three-time Formula 1 World Champion who died in a 1994 crash, was a model of dedication and self-belief.

“I wasn’t able to see much of him because he died when I was eight years old,” Colucci said.

“But I have always admired him. I often look at videos of him on the internet and they motivate me for his sheer will to succeed and achieve perfection.”

The 26-year-old said he learnt much about Senna’s dedication to training by reading “The Seeds of Victory” by the champion driver’s personal trainer Nuno Cobra.

“It showed that the difference is in the details,” he said. “You have to look after yourself in every aspect of life, not just during competition.”

“You have to maintain an equilibrium and take care of the little things like your diet and daily routine. They are small factors but they help you to evolve little by little.”

London will be Colucci’s second Olympic Games after his 37th placing in Beijing four years ago. He will be hoping to surpass Sandra Soldan as Brazil’s most successful Olympic triathlete. Soldan finished 11th in the women’s event at the 2000 Games in Sydney.

The best result among Brazil’s men is Leandro Macedo’s 14th placing, also in Sydney.

“My aim is to finish in the top 10 and I think I am capable of doing it,” Colucci said.

The Sao Paulo athlete says cycling is his strongest discipline, and he has worked extra hard on running and swimming in recent months.

The Olympic triathlon will be held on August 7 at Hyde Park in central London.

source: © IANS