Three Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympians have confirmed they will be competing in the Strathclyde Park Elite Triathlon on May 17.
Tim Don, Will Clarke and Hollie Avil were part of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team in Beijing last summer and will be joined by Scotland’s Catriona Morrison who was runner up in last year’s Duathlon World Championships. Last year’s British Grand Prix series winner Richard Stannard helps make up a competitive field, the 35 year old will be looking to get off to a strong start in the defence of his crown at the North Lanarkshire event.
Avil, only took up the sport four years ago but the 19 year old already has a string of impressive victories under her belt including the World and European Junior titles which she won in 2007. In 2008 the Loughborough based teenager achieved podium finishes in her first season of World Cup races and with her sights firmly set on London 2012 can’t wait to start her season and return to Strathclyde Park where she was a winner two years ago:
“I am excited to get my competitive season underway in the UK this year, I competed at Strathclyde two years ago at the British National Senior Sprint Championships and won, so I have great memories of this course and can't wait to race there and put an early marker down ahead of the summer.”
Avil dramatically fell ill whilst competing in Beijing but shows maturity for such a young head and has clearly learnt from her Olympic experience:
"The three days that I was ill was a complete nightmare but instead of dwelling on the negatives that happened, I have focused on the positive things. The experience was invaluable for me, everything from going through the qualifying process to experiencing the life in the Olympic Village.
She points out that her sport is in good health ahead of London 2012 and does not let friendship with her fellow competitors get in the way of rivalry:
“Britain has a strong group of female triathletes, all fantastic athletes which is exciting in the build up to 2012 as we can help push each other on. I get along with them all but I try not to think too much about who I'm racing, I just get on with my own race and concentrate on my own goals within the race.”
The Strathclyde Park Elite Triathlon on May 17 takes place at the venue for the triathlon in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
With the countdown to London 2012 well underway, British Triathlon are aiming to provide clear performance pathways for competitors to give Great Britain the best chance to challenge for medals in three years time.
Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the United Kingdom with an estimated 100,000 taking part in over 700 registered races in 2008.
The sport currently boasts four British World Champions: Helen Jenkins (Senior), Kirsty McWilliam (Junior), Alistair Brownlee (Under 23) and Chrissie Wellington (Long Distance).