PLYMOUTH triathlete Robert Shaw has secured a place at the World Ironman 70.3 Championships in South Africa in September.
The city teacher bagged a spot for the top international competition at Nelson Mandela Bay by finishing second in his age category at the Staffordshire Ironman 70.3 at the weekend.
The event, which took place in Stafford town centre, attracted 2,222 competitors, including an elite field from around the world.
Shaw, who had recently won the Taunton and Wincanton triathlons, finished 21st male overall. He was not far behind the pro athletes and crucially secured a top two placing in the 25-29 age group, which is what he needed to earn a place at the World Championships.
He completed the event, which includes a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run, in four hours, 25 minutes and 37 seconds.
He did the swim in 26.00 minutes, the cycle in 2:27.13 and the half marathon run in 1:26.09.
The leading athletes at Staffordshire were Great Britain’s Elliot Smales (3:59.23) and George Goodwin (4:01.36), Ireland’s Bryan McCrystal (4:01.46), France’s Cyril Viennot (4:02.54) and Brazil’s Fernando Toldi (4:03.53).
Shaw says he is now totally focussing on preparing for the World Championships which will be held on the weekend of September 1-2.