British aquathlon titles won at Eton Dorney

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Eton Dorney provided a stunning setting for the British Aquathlon Championships where over 20 British age group champions were crowned in the swim-run format on Saturday (16 July).

The aquathlon delivered fast racing during a busy day of swim, bike, run at Artic One’s Tri and Paratri Festival, which also included the British Paratriathlon Championships, with the first British aquathlon champions coming across the line before 8:30am.

One of the first athletes underneath the finish gantry was Donald Brooks, who has already won the British duathlon and both the sprint and standard distance triathlon titles in the male 45-49 age group in 2022.

His gold medal winning streak continued at Eton Dorney as he added aquathlon gold to take his tally of British titles to four already this year, and the European champion is now targeting the full set when the British Middle Distance Triathlon Championships are held at Outlaw X in September.

Reflecting on another gold, Brooks said: “It feels great, it’s always nice to have that British title. What a contrast to what I did a couple of weeks ago, the short, sharp snappiness of it. That’s my fourth British title this year and one more to go to complete the five that British Triathlon host, that’s my aim.”

Brooks was the second fastest athlete overall to complete the 750m swim and 5km run with William Atkinson having the honour of being the fastest finisher, finishing nine seconds ahead of Brooks.

Like Brooks, Atkinson also won the British sprint distance triathlon title in his age group last month and he was claiming gold again in the 25-29 age group, this time defending his British aquathlon title at Eton Dorney.

Speaking after crossing the line first, Atkinson said: “I won this event last year, but it was different because of Covid it was like a time-trial, so we had to wait to find out who had won.

“Whereas this time, everyone was starting at the same time, racing it and that battle with Donald and a couple of others on the run it was really good to be able to race, have fun and obviously I’m thrilled to get the win.”

After taking part in her first triathlon events last year, Chloe Dooley claimed her first British title and was also the fastest female at Eton Dorney. Posting the quickest swim and run, Dooley crossed the line first to upgrade her British sprint bronze to aquathlon gold in the female 20-24 age group.

Having taken up swim, bike, run after falling in love with cycling when commuting to work, the paediatric physiotherapist said: “It’s been so tough over the last 12 months, working full-time in the NHS and trying to fit training around. It’s days like this when you think all those 5am starts and finishing late it’s all worth it.

“It’s been a lot of fun [getting involved in swim, bike, run] and I’m excited to see where it goes over the next few years.”

George Taplin was the first athlete out of Dorney Lake and went on to win gold in the male 20-24 age group with Emily Legg claiming the victory in the female 25-29 age category which saw 30 seconds separate the top-three athletes.

There were many close battles for British titles and medals during the day with the male 50-54 age group one of the closest where just three seconds separated gold medallist Nick White and silver medallist Neil Turner, while Jenny Roberts edged out Michelle Holmes for the gold medal in the female 35-39 age category by four seconds.

2022 British Aquathlon Championships medallists

U20

Female: Gold – Christina Durbin / Silver – Katie Repper / Bronze - Grace Mason

Male: Gold – Matthew Lightfoot / Silver – Benjamin Van Der Helstraete

Female: Gold – Chloe Dooley / Silver – Aoibh Clarke

Male: Gold – George Taplin / Silver – Ben Allen / Bronze – Tom James

25-29

Female: Gold – Emily Legg / Silver – Chloe Scotchbrook / Bronze – Emily Varley

Male: Gold – Will Atkinson / Silver – David Robertson / Bronze – Michael Lewis

30-34

Female: Gold – Laura Wakeham / Silver – Fern Gardner / Bronze – Nicky Savill

Male: Gold – Greg Divall / Silver – Alejandro Romero / Bronze – Markus Orgill

35-39

Female: Gold – Jenny Roberts / Silver – Michelle Holmes / Bronze – Eloise Crowley

Male: Gold – Tom Carter / Silver – Francisco Gomez / Bronze – Jonathan Clarke

40-44

Female: Gold – Elizabeth Bellinger / Silver – Veronica Jones / Bronze – Victoria Cole

Male: Gold – Joel Enock / Silver – Pip Bennett / Bronze – Christopher Holmes

45-49

Female: Gold – Jane Eaton / Silver – Lena Poulton / Bronze – Rachel Barnes

Male: Gold – Donald Brooks / Silver – Ed Buckley / Bronze – Clark Schofield

50-54

Female: Gold – Elizabeth Taylor / Silver – Fiona Betts / Bronze – Emma Klimowicz

Male: Gold – Nick White / Silver – Neil Turner / Bronze – James Panton

55-59

Female: Gold – Sharon Hill / Silver – Lynda Coggins / Bronze – Carol Francis

Male: Gold – Tony Witmond / Silver – Richard Searle / Bronze – Mark Scott

60-64

Female: Gold – Lindsay Mead / Silver – Julie Robertson / Bronze – Jane Bell

Male: Gold – Brian Longman / Silver – David Robbins / Bronze – David Poland

65-69

Female: Gold – Beverley Childs / Silver – Julie Brown / Bronze – Linda Robbins

Male: Gold – Michael Lisle / Silver – Nigel Burnell / Bronze – Paul Bennett

70-74

Female: Gold – Barbara Walton / Silver –Sue Graves

Male: Gold – Ted Hamilton / Silver – Geoffrey Enoch

75-79

Male: Gold – Richard File / Silver – John Weller

(Images: Adam Hollier Photography)

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