Paratriathlon, TriStar, youth, junior and senior athletes took to Mallory Park for the British Triathlon Grand Final as the performance pathway was out in full force.
The youngest athletes taking part in the event were TriStar 2 and TriStar 3 athletes who were competing in their regions and nations as part of the Inter-Regional Championships (IRC).
In all, 13 teams were represented from the ten English regions, Scotland, Wales and Jersey, all competing to earn points for their teams. Both TriStar age groups competed in heats before racing in an ‘A’ final and a ‘B’ final to earn points for their team.
The TriStar 2 athletes raced over an aquathlon, with Aiden Turner the winner of the boys A final. GirlsA final winner Katy Otterson said after her win: “It was amazing. I really enjoyed the run. I just feel so proud because I put in so much effort over these few years. I love it, the team feeling and all the support.”
The TriStar 3 races were a triathlon, with Alex Dack (boys) and Gabriella Horne (girls) taking the victories.
With the full team scores totalled up, the top three teams in the 2021 IRCs were: South West (bronze), South East (silver) and North East (gold). North East Team Manager, Ian Simon, commented on the region’s victory: “I think they’re all going to be delighted, it’s been a long time since the North East won. The guys have just done brilliantly.
“It’s brilliant for them. It’s a step up from the local races and it gives them something to aspire to as they’ll stay and watch a bit of the older guys racing, and again it’s role models that they see. Whether you go home with medals, which is nice, or not, they’ll all be buzzing on the way home.”
The youth A races comprised the British Elite Youth Triathlon Championships, with both the male and female athletes competing over a 400m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run.
Johnny James was victorious in the male youth A race, crossing the line four seconds ahead of Harry Courtney in second.
In the female youth A race, Antonia Jubb took the win having taken an early lead that she was able to maintain all the way to the finish. Jubb had also won TriStar 2 and TriStar 3 races at previous editions of the event.
On taking the victory, she said: “I came out first and led the whole way, another lap and my legs would have been gone but, brilliant, very happy. I had to imagine myself winning to build up the confidence. I’ve only not won once here, so happy to complete it. I love all the girls in here, some of my best friends both training and racing. I wouldn’t want to be racing with anyone else really.”
The youth B, junior and senior athletes raced together on the day. The youth B and junior athletes competed for the British Elite Junior Triathlon Championships with the seniors competing for the British Elite Triathlon Championships (Senior).
The male athletes were split into tier one and tier two, with Morgan Rhodes the tier two winner and Daniel Dixon the tier one winner and Junior British champion.
The female athletes all competed in a single race, with Daisy Davies taking the victory and becoming Junior British champion. At the finish line she commented: “I had a decent swim, managed to catch up to the front bike pack and just carried on from there really, felt really strong on the run so good to get a good result at the end of the season.”
The British Elite Triathlon Championships (Senior) champions were Jenny Manners and Connor Bentley. After the race, Manners said:"I'm really pleased with it. I didn't know what to expect as I haven't raced this season, I had an achilles injury. I've still got a few more races planned, but it's really nice to get going with this."
Paratriathlon action was competed over in a variety of classifications across PTWC, PTVI and PTS3-PTS5. Set off in staggered starts depending on their classification to complete a 375m swim, 10.8km bike and 2.5km run, the first athlete across the line was Michael Salisbury (PTS5) with Oscar Kelly (PTVI guided by Charlie Harding) recording the fastest time of 00:31:09.
Salisbury commented: “It was nice to ride such a smooth course but with the technical bits as well. I was surprised by the swim, I think I did better than I was expecting. Bike course was fun, I didn’t know where Finley [Jakes] was but I think we must have been a similar time and I feel like Charlie [Stanton-Stock] was catching.
“I’ve been focussing on getting ready for the Great North Run, so haven’t actually done as much bike and swim stuff as I had been doing in the build up to the British Championships.”
Kelly added: “I haven’t raced in a while, it’s nice little kickstart to end of season races. Nice short distance so getting back into the spirit of racing. We [with guide Harding] have got Europeans in a couple of weeks so it’s a nice little kick to get out partnership back together again.”
Dan Salcedo, British Triathlon Olympic Pathway Manager, said of the day: “As the championships it’s a key event in the season for the pathway programme to bring the athletes and various series’ together.
“For the younger athletes it’s another great racing opportunity and across the board it’s a culmination of a season’s worth of racing.”
The results from across the day’s races are available on the button below.