European medal for Emma

17/05 Updated: 17/05 16:52

A RECORD five triathletes from Stratford AC qualified for their respective age-group teams to represent GB at the European Championships in Israel.

A quartet were making their international debuts but Emma Bexson returned with a medal for the second year running.

The Red Sea resort of Eilat provided a fine venue for three days of racing, with the salty water providing plenty of buoyancy in the swim and warm, dry weather giving pleasant racing conditions.

The one downside was a powerful headwind on all days for the first half of the out-and-back bike route, but at least it meant a flying return journey on the second half!

First up on the Friday morning were the standard distance age-groupers with Rob Ford (30-34) amongst the first wave into the water for the 1500m single lap swim.

He was followed by Graham Black (35-39) and Keith Hawkes (50-54).

Ford went on to take the line in 2 hours 16:12 to finish 12th of 26, pretty remarkable given he was suffering with a chest infection, and his excellent 40K bike split of 62:57 certainly showed where his strength lies.

Black is another versatile and powerful athlete and he followed a decent swim with a storming bike (67:29) and then grinding out the 4-lap 10K run.

This resulted in a total time of 2:21:18 and an impressive position of 19th out of 41.

Hawkes clocked 2:24:25 for 11th out of 31 after losing time on the bike but gaining a couple of places on the run (41:20).

The following day was the turn of the sprint triathletes, with Bexson and Yvonne Caswell – making her international debut like the three SAC boys – going for gold in the same 35-39 age group.

Bexson (1:18:40) grabbed silver last year, but with some strong competitors coming up into her age group this year the pocket rocket had to produce a fine 5K run (21:49) to grab a fantastic bronze medal.

Caswell spent the winter recovering from major disc surgery and just to appear on the Israeli beach start line was a remarkable achievement.

A strong 750m swim (13:19) would have settled the nerves immediately and a total time of 1:29:52 meant the inspirational Shipston teacher finished in a more than respectable 13th place.

With Playtime Productions’ Dai Gittens also performing well in the male sprint race (50-54), Eilat became Stratford-upon-Sea for a couple of days!

Popular Stories »

1 District council hands over 2,215 of travel tokens to charity

2 Developers lodge cattle market homes appeal

3 New medical centre on cards for Shipston

4 Country park plans in Henley blasted by residents

5 Volunteers help bag 1,000 for Stratford Hospital Appeal

More sport »

Stratford slip up at Harborne

STRATFORD finally got their Birmingham League Division Two

Poor batting proves costly

A POOR batting display sentenced champions Wellesbourne to

Stratford Ladies fold

STRATFORD Ladies, affectionately known as Shakespeare’s Sister’s have

Rain ruins fixture list

THE WEATHER played havoc with the South Warwickshire

Regional sport »

Evesham Observer
Bluck Cup joy for Inkberrow

INKBERROW lifted the Birdseye Sports Evesham Sunday League Bluck Cup ...

Redditch Standard
Bears stars back Studley juniors

STUDLEY Cricket Club’s junior coaching launch evening was a big ...

Leamington Observer
Coventry Bees boss upbeat despite Poole defeat

GARY Havelock believes that two controversial refereeing decisions cost his ...

Worcester Observer

Visit the Worcester Observer website for the latest.

Business Directory »

See your advert here »