A triple test of swimming, cycling and running awaits four further triathletes following their selection to represent Team Scotland. Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) in conjunction with triathlonscotland today confirmed the names of the final fourtriathletes to compete at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Triathlon was introduced to the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and following an absence at the Delhi 2010 Games, returns with both individual and relay events held at the scenic setting of Strathclyde Country Park.
The Individual Triathlons on Thursday 24 July are the first medal events of the Commonwealth Games. A test of skill and endurance, the event starts with a 1500m open water swim – the equivalent of 60 lengths of a public pool – before a 40km cycle then a 10km run to finish.
Then on Saturday 26 July, making its Commonwealth debut is the Mixed Team Triathlon Relay, a fast-paced tag-team event which sees two men and two women from each country swim 250m, cycle 6.6km and run 1.6km.
Two flat-mates, training team-mates and World Junior Triathlon medallists Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon complete the Team Scotland male triathletes. The inseparable duo, who are also both in their second year studying Mathematics at the University of Stirling, have risen through the Junior ranks together and fittingly both earn their Commonwealth call-up.
Marc was one quarter of the GB Team which won the European Junior Mixed Relay in both 2011 and 2013. Also in 2013, he collected a brace of Bronze medals, firstly at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival then at the European Junior Championships. Marc signed off his junior career with the 2013 World Triathlon Grand Final Silver medal before stepping up to the senior level in time to impress selectors.
Grant will compete on a Strathclyde Park course just a stone’s throw from his family home in Hamilton. Injury curtailed the 19-year-old’s junior career, but he still qualified for three successive European Junior Championships and finished just behind Marc to earn World Junior Bronze. He took Bronze too at the Alicante World Cup in his first senior outing and in 2014 has recorded two top 13 finishes in the World Triathlon Series.
Three-time Scottish Sprint Triathlon Champion Natalie Milne is one of two women who will showcase their talent in the Mixed Triathlon Relay. Natalie trains alongside Marc and Grant at the National Performance Centre in Stirling and is in her second season competing in World Cup and World Series events.
2012 British Triathlon Super Series Champion Seonaid Thompson completes the Team Scotland triathletes. Training full-time at the British Triathlon Satellite Centre in Leeds, Seonaid is a former 800m Celtic Indoor International Champion, converting to triathlon through the sportscotland institute of sport initiative Gold for Glasgow.
This quartet join 2011 World U23 Silver medallist David McNamee, whose selection was confirmed back in October following three top ten finishes in the 2013 World Triathlon Series, securing a second consecutive top 16 placing in the Series Rankings.
National Performance Development Coach Chris Volley said: “I am really grateful for the efforts from all the athletes and support staff who have been part of the selection process. This has enabled us to select a team which can perform with distinction at the Commonwealth Games and make Scotland proud.
“It is a phenomenal effort by Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon to have made the grade of a senior major games at such a young age. They will complement the experienced head of David McNamee who has established himself as one of the world’s best triathletes. Our two women’s representatives Natalie Milne and Seonaid Thompson will ensure Team Scotland is highly competitive in the Mixed Relay event.”
Making the announcement, Team Scotland Chef de Mission, Jon Doig said: “Triathlon will provide an action-packed start on day one of the Commonwealth Games and the inclusion of a Mixed Triathlon Relay for the first time ever two days later provides an exciting new team event. I congratulate all the Team Scotland triathletes on their selection today. They have performed excellently on the international stage to make it onto the Team and will be excited at the opportunity to compete in front of a vocal home support at Strathclyde Park.”
Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison said: “Strathclyde Country Park is ready and Triathlon events at the Commonwealth Games will be incredible. The athletes should be very proud of their achievements. Scots across the country will be behind them all the way urging them to do their best over each stage. Competing in front of a home crowd in such a prestigious event will be a highlight of their careers, and one they can share with their coaches and support staff as well as their families.”
Louise Martin CBE, Chair of sportscotland, said: “I am delighted to see a further four athletes selected to represent Team Scotland in the Triathlon at Glasgow. The Triathlon is arguably the most gruelling of all the events at the Games and I commend all of the athletes on their selection.
“One of the main reasons we are able to prepare world-class athletes across a range of individual and team sports is because of the high performance support services provided by sportscotland. With world-class experts working with world-class athletes, we have every reason to be excited about Team Scotland’s prospects at what promises to be the best ever Games.”
The triathletes are part of the largest ever Team Scotland, with the final team announcement today taking the total size to a record 310 athletes all meeting the selection standards.