Positives in Wales for Anna Hedley despite falling short of Euro qualifying time
Anna Hedley made the long trip to Llanelli, Wales, to compete in her first ever elite triathlon.
Madras College school pupil Anna faced a tough challenge, having to combat a sprint distance 750m open water swim, a 20km bike ride then a 5km run.
It was the 17-year-old’s first triathlon of any kind since October 2019 and she found herself on the start line against, not only the best young triathletes in the country, but also some elite senior women including Olympic picks Vicky Holland and Jess Learmonth.
Anna had been unable to access a pool to train in since before Christmas, returning to the water less than three weeks before the event with her local swimming club, Step Rock in St Andrews. There, her open water coach, Kirsten Geary, has been invaluable in developing Anna’s skills and resilience in cold water.
The event met all Covid-19 regulations and, despite the lack of pool training, Anna was pleased with her swim, coming out of the water around halfway down the field. After transitioning on to the bike, Anna found herself in a group of three riders, behind two larger packs, for the technical five lap, 4km course.
The three athletes worked well together, constantly rotating the lead, and going into the second transition they had made up about eight places.
Despite her best efforts, Anna was unable to pick up enough time on the run, falling one place short of GB selection in fourth place for the upcoming European Junior Championships in Kitzbuhel, Austria, and 20th female.