Sport Focus: Triathlon Beyond the Games

May 1, 2020

Team Scotland has welcomed many of the nation’s top triathletes to Commonwealth Games teams since the sport’s debut in 2002, but for most their Games experience is just the tip of the iceberg. For our Sport Focus series we take a look at what at some of our Commonwealth Games competitors have gone on to achieve.

Catriona Morrison MBE: Manchester 2002 (13th) / Melbourne 2006 (15th)

Catriona is Scotland’s most successful triathlete with multiple World and European medals in Triathlon and Duathlon and two Commonwealth Games appearances for Team Scotland. Making her international debut for Scotland in 2001 and for GB in 2004, Catriona went on to win two gold and two silver at the World Duathlon Championships, two gold and a silver at the World Long Course Duathlon Championships, two European Duathlon titles and bronze at the 2007 Long Distance Triathlon World Championships in Lorient, France.

2009 saw her record the fastest debut time for a woman completing an Ironman distance event and she claimed multiple Ironman 70.3 titles over the next few years, including winning at St Croix three years in a row. In 2012 she was awarded a Gold Pin for outstanding service to the sport by the British Triathlon Federation, an award rarely given to an athlete who is still competing, and she was a awarded an MBE for services to sport and voluntary service in 2015, the year she announced her retirement from international competition.

David McNamee: Glasgow 2014 (Glasgow 2014 Individual (7th) / Mixed Team Relay (7th))

Finishing 7th at Glasgow 2014 in both the Individual event and the Mixed Team Relay, David was Team Scotland’s most successful triathlete at a Commonwealth Games until Marc Austin took bronze at Gold Coast 2018. Following his Glasgow 2014 and several top-ten finished in the World Triathlon Series, he made the switch to Ironman and has excelled in this gruelling discipline which sees competitors swim 2.4 miles and cycle 112 miles before running a full marathon.

After 11th place in his debut World Championships in 2015 and 13th in 2016, David made his breakthrough to win bronze 2017, becoming the first British man ever to take a podium place in the 40 year history if the event. He followed up in 2018, recording the 3rd fastest time in history as he took a second bronze medal in a record-breaking race.

Beth Potter: Gold Coast 2018 (Individual (12th) / Mixed Team Relay (7th))

Beth made history at Gold Coast 2018 becoming the first athlete ever to represent Scotland in two sports at a single Commonwealth Games – Triathlon and Athletics. Better known as a track endurance athlete, running at both the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and 2017 World Athletics Championships, she was selected to make her Commonwealth Games debut as a triathlete following a successful transition to the sport, also running the 10,000m on the track.

Following Gold Coast she has gone from strength to strength with several top-ten finishes at World Cup events culminating in a gold medal winning performance at the 2019 European Championships and, most recently, silver at the European Sprint Duathlon Championships in March 2020.

Steph Forrester: Manchester 2002 (DNS)

Selected for Triathlon’s Commonwealth Games debut at Manchester 2002, Steph unfortunately had to pull out before the race through injury. Outside the Commonwealth Games her pedigree showed, taking multiple medals at World Cup events and taking 15th place for Team GB at Sydney 2000 as the sport made its Olympic debut. The same year saw her also take gold at the World Duathlon Championships in Calais, France, a race that saw Triathlon Scotland’s current Head of Performance, Fiona Lothian, (herself a World and European Duathlon medallist) finish 4th. Steph remains the only Scottish triathlete to date to compete at an Olympic Games.

Karen Darke: Gold Coast 2018 (PTWC Para-Triathlon (4th)

Paralympic gold medallist at Rio 2016 and silver medallist at London 2012, Karen is an athlete, adventurer and author. Having hand cycled her way 2,000 miles from Canada to Mexico in 2017, Karen made her Commonwealth Games debut at the Gold Coast where Para-Triathlon made its appearance for the first time at a Commonwealth Games. Competing in the individual PTWC event Karen achieved a 4th place finish.

Since being paralysed from the chest down in a climbing accident age 21, the Inverness based athlete has pushed herself in an incredible series of challenges, alongside her sporting endeavours, including crossing Greenland’s ice cap and climbing Mont Blanc, Matterhorn and El Capitan, all using just the power of her arms.

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