Moray’s Cameron Main and Sophia Green have been mixing it with Europe’s best triathletes in recent weeks, claiming five podium positions between them in a hectic series of international competitions.
Now the Elgin pair hope to attract local sponsorship to help them achieve their 2022 Commonwealth Games dreams.
Main and Green, both 21, took second places in their respective Under-23 European championship qualifying races at Llanelli in Wales and third places at Dnipro, Ukraine.
Green went on to achieve a superb victory in a European Cup fixture at Coimbra, Portugal, before taking sixth spot at Olsztyn, Poland. Main was 10th and 12th in the respective men’s races.
These fine performances earned them selection for the European under-23 championships in Kitzbuhel, Austria, where both reached the B finals – Main finishing 16th in the men’s competition, with Green 26th in the women’s.
The talented couple’s prime focus now is to secure enough ranking points and high-level performances to qualify for places on the Scotland team for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
With around ten competitions remaining, and associated costs of between £750 and £1,000 per race, the Elgin students know the road ahead is an expensive one.
Main said: “Sophia and I have gruelling training schedules and, as full-time university students, we aren’t left with much time to work.
“We are fully committed to our sport and would be grateful for any financial support a sponsor could offer.”
The duo are members of Triathlon Scotland’s high performance squad, based in Stirling. An average training week includes a minimum of eight hours of swimming, 12 hours of cycling, five hours of running and two hours of gym work.
Main recently graduated with an honours degree in sports and exercise science and will continue full-time study in September with a master’s degree in sports management at the University of Stirling.
Green is in her third year at the same university studying sports studies. They both remain honorary members of Moray Firth Triathlon Club and compete for Moray Road Runners.
Earlier this year, Main ran a 5k road race in 13min 53secs, the joint third-fastest time ever run on the road by a Scot and the quickest by anyone from this country at under-23 level.
He is chairman of Abbie’s Sparkle Foundation, the charity created by his sister Abbie before she passed away on Christmas Day 2017 due to Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer.
The charity has raised over £374,000 and helped more than 570 children who are, or have been, affected by cancer.
Main and Green plan to compete in many more races across Europe, Asia and Canada throughout the year. Next up is next month’s European Triathlon Cup match at Tiszaujvaros, Hungary.
Anyone interested in supporting them can do so by making contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Rees hopes for luck with conditions as she chases qualifying time
Alisha Rees is hoping for a change of luck in her bid to win a place on the Great Britain team for next month’s European under-23 championships in Estonia.
The Loughborough-based Banchory Stonehaven AC sprinter had hoped to do enough at the English age group championships and Euro trials at Bedford, but it didn’t quite go to plan.
Running into a strong 2.4metres/sec headwind, Rees clocked 11.83secs in the 100m to finish second behind Kristal Awuah (Herne Hill Harriers), who won in 11.67.
The top two had been guaranteed selection had they broken the qualifying standard of 11.45. Awuah has the mark, having recorded 11.39 earlier in the season, but the north-east athlete’s best this year is 11.71.
Rees said: “I didn’t go there to finish second, but it is what it is.
“The conditions weren’t good for fast running because of the strength of the headwind. I seem to have been running into headwinds all season, so I haven’t had much luck.
“I know from my training that I’m in better shape than the times I’ve been running would suggest, but the conditions have never been good.”
Rees has one final chance to earn Euro selection when she competes in next weekend’s British senior championships and Olympic trials at Manchester.
She would also be a certain pick for the 4x100m relay, should the selectors decide to send a squad.
In the under-20 age group championships, also held at Bedford, Nairn’s Will Hodi cleared 13.70m to finish ninth in the triple jump, while Aberdeen AAC’s Kai Crawford, the youngest competitor in the 800m, failed to reach the final when clocking 1:54.82 for fourth position in his heat.
Discus thrower Law another north representative at Olympic trials
Discus thrower Kirsty Law (Inverness Harriers) will take her place at the Great Britain Olympic team trials in Manchester next weekend after completing a whirlwind tour of Scandinavia.
The Loughborough-based athlete, who finished third when representing Great Britain at the European team championships in Poland at the end of May, squeezed in three competitions in five days.
She kicked off by finishing second at the Kringelkastet meeting in Södertälje, Sweden, with a throw of 57.11. Then she was fifth in Copenhagen with 56.29, before clearing 56.50 for fourth spot at the Motonet grand prix in Espoo, Finland.
She said: “There were too many competitions and I didn’t have time to train between them. So I cut out a proposed meeting in Geneva and headed to Portugal to see my coach Zane Duqueminin.
“I’ll be back for the championships in Manchester.”
Meanwhile, Neil Arthur got the better of veteran Karl Simpson at the end of a thrilling tussle in the Simmer Dim half marathon as road running made a welcome return to Shetland after a lengthy absence because of the pandemic.
The duo battled neck-and neck over the 13.1 mile route from Cunningsburgh to Clickimin in what is the UK’s most northerly half marathon.
Arthur finally broke away over the final mile and went on to win in 1hr 19min 47secs, with Simpson 17secs behind, while Russell Gair took third position in 1:24:03.
Diana Tulloch was a clear winner of the women’s race in 1:26:29, with Lynsey Henderson runner-up in 1:36:57 and Fiona Shearer third in 1:43:48.