Aquatics / Athletics / Other sport

Tavistock athletes Lake and Jeeves win European titles in Spain

TAVISTOCK’S Samantha Lake backed up her recent World Aquathlon Championships gold medal by winning a European title in Spain.

Lake was one of a number of Tavistock athletes who competed at the European Triathlon Multisport Championships in Bilbao.

She won the women’s 40-44 age group aquathlon title and was also second female overall.

There was also a European title for team-mate Jenny Jeeves, who won her age group in the ETU European Middle Distance Triathlon in Spain.

The aquathlon event, which involves swimming and running, was first up and Lake and Hannah Smith represented Great Britain in their respective age groups.

The 1,000m swim took place in a large estuary with a fast-flowing current and competitors had to battle through large waves and swim across a strong current to the final bouy.

Smith completed the tough swim section with a fast 13.58 minutes, before a solid 5km run of 20.37 minutes. That secured her ninth place in the 25-29 age group, where just over three minutes separating the top 10.

Lake, fresh from her gold medal success at the World Aquathlon Championships in August in Slovakia, produced a strong swim of 12.42 minutes, which saw her clamber up the slippery steps in the lead. In the 5k run she produced her second best time for the distance this year with 19.09-minute run, which helped her win her age group by more than two minutes and add the European title to the world crown she had already won. Lake was also only seven seconds behind the overall female winner Michelle Holmes, who won the 35-39 age category.

The following day, five athletes from the Tavistock region represented Great Britain in the middle distance triathlon.

Despite having raced in the aquathlon the day before, Smith was back for more. Hannah Worth was also racing just a week after winning her age group at Weymouth Ironman 70.3 with a big PB, alongside Jeeves, who previously won her age group this year at the Staffordshire Ironman 70.3.

They all set off in the crowded 1,900m river swim, arriving safely for a long transition. As they set off on their bikes, the heavy rain made the race feel distinctly British but the Tavistock contingent all had strong 50-mile rides before a four-lap, 12.8 mile run along the picturesque riverside of Bilbao.

Smith came an excellent eight in her age group (25-29yrs) with a solid run to complete her day with an impressive overall time of 5:09.55.

Worth whizzed down the finish line with a superb, but ever so slightly frustrating, fourth  place finish in her age-group (40-44) and 22nd overall in a rapid 4:59.34.

In addition, Jeeves, who is fairly new to the triathlon scene, looked very strong on the run course, having led throughout the race she smashed the race to become European champion in the 55-59 age group in 5:09.37.

In the men’s event, Matt Luxton (35-39yrs) came 13th in 4:46.08 and Paul Moore (56-59yrs) was 22nd  5:27.12.

Meanwhile, in the aquabike event – a 1,900m swim and 50-mile bike ride – Victoria Harrison (45-49yrs) came an impressive eighth in time of 3:26.22.

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