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Eton Dorney Sprint Triathlon

3 members of Wight Tri took on the best triathletes in their age group at the Eton Dorney ITU Qualifier Sprint Triathlon for the 2022 Age Group World Championships in Montreal, Canada.

This was the first triathlon event for many, so the age groups were packed with strong competitors.
This event was run by Human Race Events under very strict Covid-19 restrictions. Masks were worn throughout transition and not taken off until starting the race. The triathletes entered the lake in 5 second intervals, so they missed out in the usually ‘bun fight’ at the start, but then there was little opportunity to draft other swimmers. The bike was non-drafting also.

The weather gods were shining on them as the rain held off for their races, although the wind strength did increase throughout the morning for the older age groups, making it cold on the bike too!
The event started with a 750m swim in Dorney Lake, with the temperature being a cold 13.9 degrees, followed by 21.5km 4lap cycle round the lake and a 5.25 km out and back run.

First to compete for Wight Tri was Natalie Lawrence who completed the course in 1:19:43 and 14th in 25-29 AG. Natalie had solid splits in all disciplines, (13:35/41:08/20:52) but found the cold affecting her throughout the race and with a stumble at the end of the bike, she did not run to her true ability.
Jan Fletcher was next to enter the lake and put in a strong performance throughout. Starting with a time of 14:24 for the swim, she had a storming bike leg of 36:48 and a solid 22.32 run split to finish in 1:17:07 and 7th in 45-49 category.

Liz Dunlop was in the last of the female waves and had a solid race and finished in 1:32:16 and 2nd in the Vet 65-69 AG, with splits of 16:06/42:41/27:03 and also struggled with very cold hands in the swim and in transitions.
Liz’s 2nd place finish meant she had achieved automatic qualification for the 2022 ITU Age Group World Championships.

However, Jan and Natalie are in very good positions to achieve roll down positions, and await confirmation from the BTF.

As there are only 2 qualification events this year, where only 4 athletes from each age group can qualify outright, the qualification places (up to 20 per age group) are given to the next best positioned athletes from these 2 events.