>>> Britain’s pioneering approach to elite paratriathlon training
The elite juniors started off the proceedings on Saturday morning featuring Britain’s top under-20 performers. Athletes raced over the sprint distance in order to decide who will be put forward for ETU European Cup and Championship selections.
Top of the class in the junior elite women’s race was British Junior Duathlon Champion, Kate Waugh. The 16-year-old saw off competition from NYP Tri’s Bronwen Owen to finish in 1:05:47 over the sprint distance course. Owen was just over a minute adrift of Waugh, crossing the line in 1:06:56, with Olivia Matias taking the final podium spot with 1:07:04.
Jimmy Kershaw led from the start of the race and put in a strong all-round performance to win in 58:11. Ben Dijkstra had to settle for second on this occasion, the recent London Mini Marathon champion coming home in 58:35. Bronze went to James Teagle in 58:51, rounding off an all East-Midlands podium.
Paratriathlon was in the spotlight from 4pm, where athletes were looking to finish in the top two of their category in order to be put forward for selection for the ETU European Championships and ITU World Championships.
ITU World Champion, Alison Patrick, guided by Hazel Smith, won the PT5 title pushed along by competition from international medallist Melissa Reid. She managed a solid victory in very windy conditions that made tandem riding a challenge for the new pairing.
Alison said: “Hazel and I had a really good swim and bike and just tried to keep it steady on the run today. We were first out of the water, which I’m really happy with, and I felt strong during the bike. I can’t wait for the rest of my season now.”
PT4 world champion, Lauren Steadman achieved a convincing win and British title. The former Paralympic swimmer used her speed to her advantage against Clare Cunningham to gain an early lead and held on to finish 6 minutes clear in 1:12:32.
Lauren said; “I really enjoyed it and felt strong the whole way. I was expecting at some point to feel it start to hurt, but I had a good swim, pushed hard on the bike and then ran it home.
“With great race locations like Geneva, Rio and Chicago to come this year, there’s going to be some great competition ahead and hopefully it will push me even further.”
George Peasgood put on a fine display to win the men’s PT4 category in 1:07:18. He said; “It was a cracking race. I wanted to get away on the swim and just hold it as best as I could.
“My swim has improved a lot over the last six months with me training in Loughborough. The bike has always been my favourite discipline and the run is where I usually get caught, so it was great to hold on to it today and pick up my first national win.”
In the men’s PT1 race, it was world silver medallist, Phil Hogg, who won the battle between himself and Joe Townsend. Derby’s Hogg finished two and half minutes ahead of his close friend and rival in 1:09:02.
Elsewhere, Russell White took the men’s PT3 title in 1:19:31 and Chris Goodwin claimed men’s PT5 in 1:11:12. Women’s PT1 went to Lizzie Tench with 1:35:48 and PT2 gold was picked up by Emily Harris.
For full results of the British Triathlon Junior Gateway event, head here. And for the Paratriathlon event, visit here.
Did you race in Llanelli? Let us know in the comments below!