The Triathlon Ireland Junior Squad challenged the best of British over the weekend at the Junior Elite Championships, Blenheim Triathlon, which took place in Woodstock.
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16-year-old Con Doherty showed his class once again and finished second, just three seconds behind the winner. The British Championship is considered one of Europe’s toughest tests for junior athletes, with the best 16 to 19-year-olds from the strongest triathlon nations in the world competing.
Doherty swam well to put himself in to a good position on exiting the 750m swim. He then biked with the lead pack before unleashing a lightning fast run to finish just seconds off gold.
Doherty is just back from winning the TriAthy Sprint Distance race last weekend where he beat stiff competition from almost 800 senior and junior athletes. He also won the Irish Junior Championships, hosted by Fingal Triathlon Club, just two weeks ago.
Aaron O’Brien also had a strong showing and finished in fifth place, just over a minute behind the winner. O’Brien never fails to impress on the swim and he was right to the fore after the first leg. He also biked and ran well to finish ahead of many older athletes.
Junior Coach, Elena Maslova, was impressed with what she saw: “The four Squad members put in strong performances against some of the best junior triathletes in the world. Since we started competing internationally in 2011 the squads performances have been on the rise and this is another podium to add to the list.”
In the senior ranks, Ben Shaw, continued his successful tour of the Asian Cup races with his third runner up finish in four races at the Gamagori ITU Asian Cup in Japan.
Shaw finished just over a minute down on previous World Cup winner, Dan Wilson of Australia, in a time of 02:01:49. Suto of Japan was closing in on the run but had too much ground to make up after a poor swim and finished a further minute back in third.
Closer to home, almost 500 athletes took part in the fifth weekend of Vodafone National Series racing at the Crooked Lake Triathlon in Armagh. Dundalk’s Bryan McCrystal went one better than last weekend’s second place finish at TriAthy and won in a time of 59:37. He was the only man to break the magic hour mark largely down to him averaging close to 45kph over the 20km bike section. Patrick McKenna was second in 1:00:16, with Will McCormack third in 1:00:52.
For the ladies it was Rachel Glendon who stormed to victory in 1:07:38. Kerry Speers took second in 1:10:02, closely followed by Margaret Kelly just eight seconds back.