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Danielle Stewart celebrates golden success in Limerick
Posted on: Tuesday 19th April 2011
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The GE Great Britain Age Group Team celebrated 12 gold medals in Ireland this weekend as they competed at the 2011 Limerick ETU Duathlon European Championships.
Overall, 35 age group medals were won at the event, including 12 silver and 11 bronze surpassing last year's total of 32 medals.
The event saw five 2010 European champions, successfully retain their titles with Arnott Kidd (M75-79).Esther Evans (F35-39), Hilary Ross (F55-59), Elspeth Knott (F60-64) and Barbara Law (F65-69), all celebrating in Limerick.
Danielle Stewart was one of the standout performers from the GE Great Britain Age Group Team crossing the line first overall in the women's race in a time of 01:56.40.
Danielle commented: “The whole race went reasonably smoothly this year, so I was really pleased. The run felt good and on the last lap I managed to pull away before the bike. The bike course was really fast, and quite technical in places but it all went to plan. As I came into the finish, I realised I had nobody behind me, so just enjoyed the run in and my first overall win.
“In 2009, I finished in the silver medal position, and last year it was bronze after tearing a calf muscle early in the race. This was the first year everything seemed to go to plan, so I am really happy, especially as this was my last year in this age group.”
In the men's race, Ross Landon (18-19), Ben Howard (20-24), James Hockin (25-29), Lee Rankin (35-39), Doug Cowie (55-59) and Vernon Thomas (65-69) also celebrated gold.
Phil Holland (30-35), who was one of the eight reigning champions going into the event, summed up how much it means to athletes racing at a major championships commenting before the race: "It's a privilege to be here defending my title, but there's nowhere to hide. You can't play the underdog card." Sadly, Phil couldn't retain his title finishing in the silver medal position.
Joan Lennon the GE Great Britain Age Group Team Manager for the Championships was also delighted adding: “Danielle put in an awesome performance to win the ladies race overall, and looked very comfortable as she raced for the line.
“The atmosphere in Limerick was great, with good crowd support around the course. The course was tight and technical but there were no major problems or spills”.
There was also a small but successful GE Great Britain Paratriathlon Team racing in Ireland with British Triathlon affiliate squad athletes, Tom Perkins (TRI 4) and Adrian Howden (TRI 5) delivering gold, with Paul Thomas (TRI 3) adding a bronze. All three athletes are members of the newly formed British Triathlon World Class Paratriathlon Programme.
This weekend also saw the final qualifier for the 2011 Gijon ITU Duathlon World Championships taking place at Cambridge Duathlon. The event organised by The Cambridge Triathlon Club was won by Julian Lings overall in a time of 01:54.09, with the women's event won by Victoria Gill in a time of 02:06.53. For more information and provisional results visit www.cambridgetriathlonclub.com