Norwich teen Sophie Alden claims British junior triathlon title

Sophie Alden, centre, on top of the junior podium at the British Triathlon Championships in Liverpoo

Sophie Alden, centre, on top of the junior podium at the British Triathlon Championships in Liverpool. - Credit: Submitted

The budding career of Hellesdon triathlete Sophie Alden has been given a major boost after the 17-year-old was crowned the British junior women's champion.

Alden not only finished first in the Junior 17-18 class at Tri Liverpool, which doubles up as the British Triathlon Championships, but also finished eighth overall in the elite women's standings.

The success was a huge step in the Hellesdon High School sixth-form student's development, completing the course in one hour, six minutes and 38 seconds.

'Last year I went to Russia for the European Relays, where there are three girls to a team, and we won there so that is probably my best result so far but this is right up there,' Alden explained.

'I finished second last year so I went in hoping to finish in the top three and once I got going I thought I might have a good chance of doing that.


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'The swim can be a bit messy and you can be delayed but once I got into clear water and managed to get in with some of the seniors who were older and stronger cyclists, so that helped me get round and increase the gap to the second junior, and then I just gave it my best on the run.'

Alden completed the 750-metre swim in 9.12 minutes, followed by a 28-second transition to the 20km cycle, which she finished in 36.21mins. A second transition of 33secs took her to the 5km run, which she polished off in 20.04 minutes to finish eight overall.

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'I didn't really know what to expect,' the teen added. 'I was thinking I could do well in the junior race and then to finish where I did in the juniors and seniors was a bit of a shock, but it was good.'

Alden is trained by Alex Pinniger at UEA City of Norwich Swimming Club and Jane Clarke at City of Norwich Athletics Club. She is also supported by Goose Massage in Norwich, Copy IT Solutions, Sports Aid and BNY Melon, all of which has helped continue her involvement with the English Triathlon Talent Squad.

'I'll be off to Hungary on Saturday with the England Talent Squad, we're out there for a training camp for a week and then there's a European Cup race at the end of it,' Alden added.

'This is my second year with the England Talent Squad. It's so good because there are lots of opportunities to go to camps and go away with some of the best young triathletes in the country, because we obviously all train in different places all over the country normally.'

Do you know a talented youngster who has achieved success recently? Contact sports reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk.

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