Isla Hedley is on top of the world

North east Fife has its own world champion.

By Scott Inglis
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 11:04 am
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 11:04 am

Prolific young athlete Isla Hedley, from St Andrews, won the gold medal representing Great Britain at last week’s World Cross Triathlon Championships in Targu Mures, Romania.

Her victory saw the 16-year-old crowned junior world champ and she’ll aim to build on the win at the European Cross-Triathlon Champs in Bilbao, Spain in September.

Hedley was selected for the event thanks to her fifth position 2021 British Youth triathlon ranking plus her mountain bike skills.

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Isla Hedley topped the podium

The teen has competed in Scottish races in the various disciplines in mountain biking - downhill, enduro and XC.

Going into the event, the standard of opposition was something of an unknown quantity with competitors arriving from across the globe.

Mum Sharon told the Citizen Isla had been excited before travelling but that the atmosphere when she arrived exceeded all expectations, the race itself being held as part of the week long Transylvania Triathlon Festival.

"It was her first overseas competition,” Sharon said.

"She went over for the experience as, at 16, she has another two years in the 15-19 age group.

"The course was open for practice, which was particularly useful for the very technically demanding mountain bike course - dry and powdery berms as well as technical up and down gradients.

"Practice on the most technical sections proved key, as although Isla was second on the swim and first on the run, she gained almost three minutes over her closest competitors on the bike leg, increasing that on the run to win by over four minutes overall.”

Sharon added that Isla hopes her win can inspire other youngsters to keep going with their chosen sport.

But it was quickly down to earth again following the win, Isla catching up on schoolwork on her return while preparing for the International Youth Cup in Italy in the coming weeks.

Isla thanked those who have supported her, cycling coach Innes Ogilvie and Triathlon Scotland coach Jack Peasgood, Dave Francis from Fife AC who encouraged her hill-running, Step Rock swimming club coaches and thre friends who she trains with.

Thanks have also been extended to Madras College for their flexibility in allowing her to combine school work with training and travel.