June 5, 2021
Next Generation Take To Roundhay Park At Aj Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds
Saturday 5 June provided opportunity for up-and-coming triathletes to showcase their talents on the first day of AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds.
Britain’s showpiece triathlon event provides athletes from the TriStar 2 (age 11-12), TriStar 3 (age 13-14) and Youth (age 15-17) categories with the opportunity to swim, bike, run around Roundhay Park.
In the youth event, athletes from with a range of swim, bike, run experience set off in the Yorkshire sunshine following the conclusion of the sprint races.
With the opportunity to emulate their heroes by swim, bike, running along a lot of the same course as the elite athletes racing this weekend, the young athletes headed out for their swim in a socially distance, time-trial format.
In the youth boys race, there was a battle that emerged to see a group reach the ramp up to the finish line together and sprint finish ensue towards the line. One of the athletes involved in the sprint was Charlie Neece.
After the race, Neece said: “It was difficult with that gradient but well worth it. It was brilliant, so much fun, it was beautiful weather and the track and course was amazing and the marshals were brilliant.
“The scenery is amazing, it’s spectacular and was really good fun. It feels really good to know that you’re connected to the elites that will be racing later, it feels very special.”
All three age categories started in Waterloo Lake before completing their bike and run legs, with the races reaching their conclusion at the finish area outside Mansion House.
TriStar 2 athletes completed a 200m swim, 5km bike and 1.8km run whilst the TriStar 3 athletes completed a 2.5km run after the same swim and bike distances. Youth athletes completed a 200m swim, 9.5km bike and 2.5km run.
Isla Widdowson, who raced in the TriStar 2 category, said of the course and crossing the same finish line as the World Triathlon Championship Series athletes racing on Sunday: “Very tiring, a lot of hills. The run at the end by the finishing straight is very very exciting.”
Widdowson, who has been at the event with her family added; “We’ve been here all weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing the results, hopefully being on the podium.”
Dan Salcedo, British Triathlon Olympic Pathway Manager, said: “AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Leeds is a great opportunity for young athletes to race as part of one of the biggest triathlon events in the world.
“After a year in which not a lot of racing took place, I hope that everyone taking part enjoyed the experience to swim, bike, run again, especially as part of such a great event weekend that saw them racing at the same venue as the world’s best paratriathletes and triathletes.”
Andy Salmon, British Triathlon CEO, said: “Being able to watch the TriStar and Youth racing as part of the programme here in Leeds is always an inspiring thing to see. To welcome these young participants alongside the World Triathlon Para and Championship Series athletes provides them with the opportunity to be part of something special.
“They are the present and future of our sport, and their enthusiasm is great to see. Congratulations to everyone who raced in the TriStar and Youth races, and thank you to all the coaches, parents, carers and friends involved in helping them to be here.”