Wheeler Esther is a golden girl

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Esther Colman has not set herself any goals ahead of a bright future in the sport of triathlon, despite claiming a European age group title in her first full season.

The 19-year-old West Suffolk Wheelers and Triathlon Club member took gold in the 18-19 years age group race in the picturesque Austrian town of Kitzbuhel on Sunday.

Racing over the Olympic distance of 1,500-metre swim in Lake Swarzee, 39.4-kilometre cycle ride around the hills surrounding the lake and 9.6k run, Colman finished in a total time of two hours 55 minutes 37 seconds.

“It was the toughest race I’ve ever done in my life,” said Colman. “The hills were really steep – I come from Suffolk so I don’t know what hills are really!”

Being the only person to achieve the qualifying time for the race — which she achieved at a Nice Tri event in St Neots in September – Colman only needed to safely negotiate the course to clinch gold.

But she did it in style with a swim of 23.39, a cycle of 1.36.11 and run of 49.32, with

transition times of 3.50 and 2.27.

The Lifecycle UK-sponsored triathlete completed her A-levels the day before flying out to Austria last Thursday and is awaiting results to see if she will be accepted into the University of Leeds, where she will be able to combine her education with her sport.

Looking to the future and the possibility of taking up sport full-time, Colman added: “If the opportunity arises I would take it, but I just enjoy competing and want to keep enjoying it.”

Colman’s next assignment will be the British Championships in August before stepping up to the 20-24 age group and a possible shot at next year’s World Championships.

n West Suffolk Wheelers and Triathlon Club hosted the third Go Tri race of the season – a mini distance triathlon designed to encourage new and novice athletes to the sport of triathlon.

Held on June 20 at Rougham School, Stu Adam won the Tri Star 1 event (140-metre swim, four-kilometre cycle and 1k run) in 19 minutes 33 seconds, followed by Tom Verzijl (20.56), Tom Curtis (22.22), George Possnett (22.46) and Jacob Taylor (24.46).

Overall winner of Tri Star 2 and 3 (140m swim, 4k cycle and 2k run) was Myles Taylor (20.59), with Catherine McKeag (26.16) the first girl home.

Other results: Matt Asker (23.04); Johan Hasselder (23.22); Oscar Woodward (23.53); Fred Harris (25.06); George Cain (29.25); Anna Dive (34.22).

Twenty-three adults contested the main race, with the winning time posted by Boxford Cycling Club’s Simon Daniel in 20.18.

Other results: George Morris (20.56); Eugene Husband (21.05); Chris Brown (21.08); Ray Reeves (21.53); Malcolm MacFarlane (22.09), Jamie Mott (23.17); Matt Skevington (23.32); Dan Reed (23.46); Steve Murton (23.52); Lyndon Houston (23.54); David Leavi (24.05); Hayley Suttle (24.08); Ian Pettit (24.16); Simon Kitching (24.21); Sandra May (24.55); Chris Gladwyn (24.59); Paul Sawyer (25.40); Ker Macross (25.48); Les Basham (25.49); Tony Fitch (25.53); Callum Blair (27.11); Jeremy Smith (30.48).

n West Suffolk Wheelers and Triathlon Club member Julie Reeves took part in the Great East Swim of two miles at Alton Water on Saturday, which she completed in one hour five minutes 16 seconds to finish 37th lady out of a mixed field of 273.