Inspirational Pullinger, 44, ready to take on the International Triathlon Union World Championships

Tom Pullinger. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Tom Pullinger. Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

Triathlete Tom Pullinger is determined to show what he can do on the big stage as a fully-fit competitor.

The brave 44-year-old made his Great Britain debut in May at the European middle distance (half ironman) championships just two years after being told by doctors to give up running because of a hip problem. However, a serious back injury in the build-up to the race in Italy left the Bungay Black Dog Running Club member just happy to complete the 70.3-mile course.

It's a different story this time though as the father-of-two heads to the ITU (International Triathlon Union) world championships in Chicago tomorrow without any fitness worries.

He said: 'I was so short of fitness in Italy and my main aim was just to get around. But now I feel almost as fit as I've ever been.

'It's a fantastic feeling as I know I can give it absolutely everything I've got. To race for Britain once is brilliant, but to be able to do it again is absolutely amazing.'

The Olympic (standard) distance race will see competitors swim for 0.9 miles, cycle for 24.8 and run for 6.2. The Harleston athlete will once again be competing in the 40-44 age group category.

It will be Pullinger's first trip to America and his participation has been made possible by the financial support of his old friend Greg Secker. The owner of Capital Index used to live next door to the GB competitior when he was at school and has stepped in to turn his world championship dream into a reality.

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'When I found out I'd got a place I just thought I had to go,' said Pullinger, who was drafted in after marginally missing out on automatic qualification for the race.

'I couldn't have done it without Greg.'

Pullinger finished 40th out of 52 in his age group at the Euros as a result of losing at least six weeks of his training programme thanks to falling off his bike.

- Video provided by Capital Index.