Twenty-six British champions were crowned as over 1,150 age group athletes competed in the British Standard Distance Triathlon Championships at AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds.
Kick starting the second day of action at Roundhay Park, the British Championship waves were a chance for British Triathlon Home Nation members to become British champion and earn medals, along with qualifying opportunities to represent the Great Britain Age-Group Team.
It was a successful return to Leeds for Donald Brooks who ended the race as the quickest male athlete over the 1.5km swim, 36.2km bike and 10km run for the second successive year, winning the male 45-49 British title in the process.
Speaking after collecting his gold medal, Brooks, who won the European title over the same distance two weeks ago, said: “I’m really pleased to be British champion again. It always means a lot to me, especially here in Leeds, because it’s a brilliant course and it’s great to be out there with so many different athletes sharing this experience.
“I’m up into the 45-49 age group this year but still managing to take the top place so I’m very pleased. I don’t seem to be slowing down too quickly with age and I know my children will be really pleased to see the medal.”
The honour of being the fastest overall female athlete went to Francesa Smith, who also became British champion in the female 25-29 age group during her first experience of competing in Leeds.
After the race, the European and British champion said: “It’s absolutely amazing. I came here with high expectations, but to exceed those is just amazing, it’s such a great feeling and it was such an awesome race.
“I genuinely can’t believe it, there’s so many people out on course because it’s such a popular event so you never know what’s going to happen, but I’m beyond delighted. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be British champion and it just shows all the hard work doesn’t go towards nothing.”
A golden few weeks for Lloyd Bebbington continued in Leeds where he secured his first British title with victory in the male 25-29, adding to the European gold he won at his debut European Championships two weeks ago.
“It’s a bit of a shock to be honest but I’ve been going well this year,” Bebbington shared after the race. “I did Leeds last year but decked it on the bike so came about 20th, but I’ve just had a great season so far. The European title was amazing for me, it’s all about the confidence and belief, so once I’ve done that you know you’ve got to come here and perform, so to be able to do that is a nice little cherry on top of the cake.”
Anna Birrell added another medal to her growing collection by adding the standard distance triathlon title to the British and English national duathlon titles she has already won this year in the female 20-24 age group.
Birrell was delighted to have upgraded her bronze from last year to gold and after the race said: “I’m absolutely delighted, I wasn’t expecting these kind of results for another couple of years. I wanted to get in the top-three, but I wasn’t expecting gold, so I’m really happy to win the British title. This was my last Olympic distance race of the season as my focus is now onto middle distance, but I’m riding the wave and just carrying on working really hard.”
It was a successful defence of the British female 40-44 title for Nicola Lilley, who again has the honour of being British champion for the next 12 months. Hayley Rigby, Graham Baxter and Linda Russell-Bond also all successfully defended their British titles in the female 30-34, male 55-59 and female 65-69 age groups, respectively.
Chris Owens and Mia Powell are no strangers to success having both won multiple medals during their age group experiences to date and they were both crowned British champions in Leeds, winning the female 55-59 and male 70-74 age groups.
Speaking after collecting her gold, Powell commented: “Until now, I had no idea I had won, but I was happy with how I executed the race. I’ve won this a few years previously so to comeback after doing sprint distance, middle distance and long distance and to still have it at standard is really pleasing.”
Reflecting on gold in the male 70-74 age group, Owens said: “It’s fantastic to do this in such a great atmosphere. Getting presented with the medal never gets old and it’s what keeps me personally going.”
In the other age groups, Catherine Linney and Neil Collins earned the British crown in the 50-54 age group, while the British 35-39 age group titles were won by Craig Dale and Olivia Fitz-Poole.
Sarah Barrett and Richard File were victorious in the 75-79 age groups with Linda Clarkson securing the female 70-74 victory.
Louis Woodgate was the first athlete to cross the line, winning gold in the male 20-24 age group, while there were also wins for Will Russell (M30-34), Matthew Stratford (M40-44), Corinne Moss (F45-49), Hilary Briggs (F60-64) and Stuart Robinson (M60-64) in their respective age groups.
Theirry Le Cheminant and Eilidh Miller were the two youngest winners with both becoming U20 British champion.
The British Standard Distance Triathlon Championships were also a qualifying event for age group athletes who had registered their intent to qualify to represent the Great Britain Age-Group Team at the 2023 European Standard Distance Triathlon Championships. To find out more about qualifying for the GB Age-Group Team visit the Age-Group page here.
2022 British Standard Distance Triathlon Championships medallists
Female: Gold – Eilidh Miller / Silver – Lottie-Rose Van der Helstraete
Male: Gold – Thierry Le Cheminant / Silver – Jenson Williams / Bronze – Sean Petty
Female: Gold – Anna Birrell / Silver – Lilly Gibbs / Bronze – Georgia Huddleston
Male: Gold – Louis Woodgate / Silver – Iwan Jones / Bronze – Robin Hughes
Female: Gold – Francesca Smith / Silver – Laura Gray / Bronze – Megan Chapple
Male: Gold – Lloyd Bebbington / Silver – Alexander Jones / Bronze – Matt Grantham
Female: Gold – Hayley Rigby / Silver – Courtney Hyde / Bronze – Elisabeth Ogbonmwan
Male: Gold – Will Russell / Silver – Oliver Crossley / Bronze – Edward Castro
Female: Gold – Olivia Fitz-Poole / Silver – Ela Stachow / Bronze – Sarah Whyman
Male: Gold – Craig Dale / Silver – James Travers / Bronze – Dean Hanwell
Female: Gold – Nicola Lilley / Silver – Candice Heys / Bronze – Anna-Kaisa Pietilainen
Male: Gold – Matthew Stratford / Silver – Michael Jones / Bronze – James Wilson
Female: Gold – Corinne Moss / Silver – Samantha Howard / Bronze – Anna Bellamy
Male: Gold – Donald Brooks / Silver – Tim Fletcher / Bronze – Patrick Tierney
Female: Gold – Catherine Linney / Silver – Anita Howe / Bronze – Jessie Campbell
Male: Gold – Neil Collins / Silver – Robert Harrison / Bronze – Carl Shawcross
Female: Gold – Maria Powell / Silver – Nicki Rushton / Bronze – Alex Le Bek
Male: Gold – Graham Baxter / Silver – Tim Ashelford / Bronze – Alan Findlay
Female: Gold – Hilary Briggs / Silver – Deborah Lloyd / Bronze – Jill Carlin
Male: Gold – Stuart Robinson / Silver – Terry Johnson / Bronze – Mick Flaherty
Female: Gold – Linda Russell-Bond / Silver – Beverley Childs / Bronze – Liz Dunlop
Male: Gold – Chris Goulden / Silver – Barry Jameson / Bronze – Edward Morgan
Female: Gold – Linda Clarkson / Silver – Anne Lewis
Male: Gold – Chris Owens / Silver – Graham Plews / Bronze – Gary Nichols
Female: Gold – Sarah Barrett
Male: Gold – Richard File / Silver – Peter Simpson