Britain’s next generation of triathletes went head-to-head with the world’s best rising talents as they took to the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Lausanne stage competing in the Under 23 and Junior races.
It was Olivia Mathias that impressed on the first day of the Grand Final in Lausanne as she secured an impressive silver medal in the women’s under 23 event.
Loughborough-based, Mathias, who was ranked in third place going into the event, exited the swim in third place and was out of T1 alongside Sophie Alden ready for the tough bike course.
The pair were in the lead pack until the halfway point of the bike leg when Alden was dropped.
Mathias remained in a strong position and she left T2 in third place. She impressed with a strong run to put her into second position and took silver just 20 seconds behind the gold medallist Emilie Morier (FRA). Lisa Tertsch (GER) took bronze.
“I just can’t believe this,” Mathias said. “I knew that my training had been going well. I was so nervous before the race and then it all fell into place. I wanted to swim as fast as I could and try to split it with Sophie and get on the bike and just get it to work and then run for my life.
“The swim was hard for me and then I just kept thinking in the run ‘just keep going’. My coach was on the course and it really helped. There were so many age groupers out there too and I don’t think there was 10m on the course where there wasn’t someone shouting ‘Go GB’ which was so good."
Leeds-based Kate Waugh finished just outside of the medals in fourth place while Alden (Loughborough) finished in 16th place.
Ben Djikstra (Loughborough) put in an excellent run leg to pull himself back from 29th place to eighth place in the men’s under 23 race.
Djikstra was in the chasing pack coming out of the T1 with over 40 seconds to catch up with the leading pack. He fought hard on the bike and was on his own for a couple of laps.
Harry Leleu and James Teagle (both Loughborough) sat in the next pack back but caught Djikstra up and they tried to push on but the gap was too much.
Djikstra impressed with his speed on lap one of the run to pull back time on the leaders and pull his way back through the field. He finished in eighth place overall with Leleu in 17th and Teagle in 28th.
“I’m a little bit disappointed with that to be honest,” Djikstra said. “I felt good on the start of the run but on lap three I had a stomach issue which broke up my momentum. The bike was pretty frustrating. I was there on the end of the first lap of the swim but then lost the pace in the second one.
“It’s a shame I wasn’t to be in contention at the front but that’s racing at least I was able to pull back some spaces. There are positives to take from it but I know I can improve as well.”
In the Junior women’s race, Erin Wallace (Stirling) battled hard through the race and finished fifth while Sophia Green (Stirling) finished in 24th place overall. In the men’s race, Marcus Dey finished in 24th while Toby Osman (Leeds) crossed the line in 41st.