By Olalla Cernuda on 18/08/18 at 8:38 am
Almost one thousand triathletes had the chance to compete for the Sprint Distance Age Group European Championships in Glasgow, in the same venue used by the elite athletes, proving that the Scottish grounds are the perfect scenario also for massive participation races. And with the privilege of racing on home soil, the British team dominated the event, claiming 85% of the podium positions for the day.
Not even the chilly conditions in Strathclyde Park on Saturday morning prevented the athletes to have their best smiles ready to go for a swim in the calm waters of the Loch and try to grab one of the 79 medals awarded, and with thousands of spectators cheering for all the athletes from beginning to the end, with the medal ceremonies taking place in the Elite athletes transition area after the Mixed Relay race.
Twenty one nations participated in this edition of the Age Group European Championship, with a little bit over 30% of the entries coming from outside the UK. Ireland (66 athletes), Belgium (46), Germany (39) and Austria (30) where the next countries with more entries, with nations like Spain having one sole participant.
Some well known faces lined up in the pontoon for the European glory, including Michael Smallwood. A member of Rugby Triathlon Club, Mike was the British Triathlon Male Age-Group Athlete of the Year in 2016, a season in which he won six European and World Championship medals, including Gold (Sprint and Aquathlon), plus Silver (Standard) at the ITU World Championships in Cozumel, Mexico.
Michael added to his already extensive medal collection and now has 26 medals in IT and ETU races, one of the best records for his category: male 70-74 years old. With the pleasure also of winning in Glasgow on his category by more than four minutes.
Several athletes also managed to combine the Sprint and Olympic distance double, with Donald Brooks (GBR), competing in the 40-44 years’ class, was the fastest athlete of the day both in Glasgow and two weeks before in Tartu.
The winner of the younger competitors was Jack Shayler (GBR), with teammates William Dixon and Reuben Trotter completing a British podium sweep in the 16-19 category, as they also did in the 20-24 class, with William Kirk, David Pearson and Lewis Strachan completing the first three positions. Complete Brit podium was also for the 30-34 category, with Edward Castro claiming gold, and the 35-39 class, with the victory for James Wilson.
Having all participants starting in waves every 30 minutes meant that it was much easier for spectators and fans to cheer and spot their loved ones both in the course and in the finish line, which made Glasgow race even greater.
The Netherlands also claimed a gold medal, with Niels Grote Breveborg winning in the 25-29 male race, while British Simon Crook won in the 45-49 category. Frenchman Fabrice Bossion finished in first place in the 50-54 race, and Stuart Robinson in the 55-59 one.
In the under 64 years category the victory was for Chris Goulden (GBR) and in the next one, for Keith Bate (GBR). Michael Smallwood, who finished in second in Tartu, claimed here the gold medal in the 70-74 category, while the French Bernard Cuziat did so in the 75-79 years old. Two men with more than 80 years old competed in Glasgow, with Arnott Kidd, 84 years old and the oldest participant, claimed gold ahead of his teammate Peter Norman, three years younger.
In the female categories, winner of the 16-19 category was one of the youngest participants, Eden Schiller, who crossed the finish line with more than a minute over Ines Mommen (BEL) and Grace Goodall (GBR). “Good thing about this sport is that you can start at any age, and with triathlon you get to meet people from everywhere”, said Schiller after her victory.
And another British claimed the victory in the 20-24 age group, Hannah Dodwell, followed by Brooke Gillies (GBR) and Anna Heyder (GER). Nina Rosenbladt won the 25-29 category, while Alison Mackenzie (GBR) did so in the next class, and Heather Fell (GBR) in the 35-29 group.
The fastest female athlete overall was Trish Deykin of the 40-44 age group, who retained the Gold medal in her category that she won in Dusseldorf last year. Another British, Lena Poulton, claimed the 45-49 category, and Maria Powell (GBR) did so in the 50-54. In the 55-59 class it was another Brit, Barbara Holmes, breaking the tape.
In winning Gold in the 60-64 category, Joyce Mark (GBR) took the European title over the Sprint distance for the seventh time. Anne Hugues (GBR) also repeated on top of the podium of the European Championships after winning in the 65-69 category. And a German, Inge Stettner, was the sole non British participant over 70 years old and claimed the victory in her class. Peggy Crome (GBR) took the gold medal in the last female category, 75-79 years of age.
You can check all the photos from the races and the podiums at the ETU Facebook page!
Find more details about this event - 2018 Glasgow ETU Triathlon European Championships