MALVERN Triathlon Club member Vikki Sivertsen returned from the World Duathlon Championships in Pontevedra, Spain, proudly wearing a bronze medal.
The Great Britain competitor came from eighth after the run in the sprint distance race for women aged 45 to 49, setting the second fastest bike split to make the podium.
Her result was a big improvement on her fifth place at the European Championships in Horst, Holland, earlier in the year.
Sivertsen was up against athletes from Ireland, Germany, Spain, USA and Mexico as well as a strong team of fellow Brits.
She said: “Winning a medal was totally unexpected, as I knew I had some tough competition in the event.
“Realistically, I was hoping for fourth or fifth, so I am absolutely over the moon to have achieved a podium place.”
In the end, Sivertsen was only beaten by reigning GB European duathlon champion Jacqui Phillips and former world victor Anke Lakies from Germany.
The Malvern ace recorded the second fastest bike split of 37 minutes 12 seconds on a tough course, which included a five-mile uphill section, to win the bronze.
She continued: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my sponsors Nelson Training and the Malvern Spa for their help in funding my participation.
“Without them, I doubt very much that I would have been able to attend.”
Finishing as second British athlete, Sivertsen has automatically qualified for next year’s world championships.
However, these will be held in Adelaide, Australia, in October.
“Age group racing is 100 per cent self-funded, so I’m hoping for further sponsorship to help me attend,” she said.
Anyone who can help is asked to e-mail Sivertsen at email@example.com Meanwhile, the Malvern club’s Amanda Dawson and Lesley Dalley were competing in the European Cross Triathlon.
Dawson won bronze in her age category and Dalley was 15th in his section over a 1,500-metre sea swim, 30-kilometre mountain bike section and 10km trail run.
Gulab Chauhan, Drew Heath, Ann Marie Rocca and Graham Martin competed at the Ragley Hall Triathlon. There were no medals but a good time was had by all.
Neill Williamson tackled the Outlaw half Ironman in Nottingham and was 11th in his 45-49 age category in four hours 58 minutes after a 1.9-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and 13-mile run.
Back home, Malvern held a Try A Tri event in conjunction with Malvern Active at Malvern College Sports Complex.
Level two swimming coach Sarah Williams and level one triathlon coach Williamson, from the Malvern club, were joined by Triathlon England’s Stefan and Marion Pearce. Committee members joined participants in the pool for front crawl and triathlon open water swim technique sessions.
They practised swimming close together and how to not get lost when searching for marker buoys in open water.
An informative transition demonstration was held by Williamson with instruction from Marion Pearce, who is also an official for Triathlon England and gave advice on how not to be given time penalties or disqualified.
A spin session on the studio bikes was then followed by a coached run session outside.
A few minutes of question and answers rounded off the morning. Amanda Duncan, one of Malvern’s newest members who is in training for her first triathlon, said: “What a well organised, extremely informative and fun morning at Try A Tri. The coaching sessions were excellent and I learned so much.”
To join Malvern or for more details on the club, contact Sarah Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or join their Facebook page.
All abilities are welcome. Many members are yet to compete in an event, while some have 30 years of experience.
Meanwhile, Sarah Williams is doing a fundraising event in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Marie Curie Nurses in memory of her sister Ann, who died in May, 2012, aged 48 after a four-year battle with cancer, leaving husband Jaz and children Toby, then 16, and Kirstie, 13.
She needs 100 people to come along to Malvern College Sports Complex on Saturday, June 28, from 2pm until 5pm and swim 100m each, which is four lengths.
They are then asked to stay in and swim as many as they can to try and achieve 1,000 lengths in total as well as the 100x100m relay.
Williams has also set herself the personal challenge of swimming 200 lengths by just kicking.
To be involved or to donate, visit the Just Giving page sarah-williams3565 and donate a minimum of £5 or e-mail email@example.com
She currently has about 50 people aged 15 to 70, so more are needed.