Claire Steels is a duathlon world champion just 10 months after taking up the sport.
The Bourne Town Harriers member struck gold in the 25-29 year-old age group at the World Sprint Championship in Adelaide, Australia, in her first outing for Great Britain.
Steels covered the 5km run, 20km cycle and 2.5km run in 1.06.21 which was good enough for 10th place in the ladies race overall won by Surrey’s Emma Pallant.
The 29-year-old personal fitness trainer led home a 1-2-3 for GB as Harriet Enoch finished second and Rebecca York came third.
Former Bourne Grammar School student Steels only took up duathlon after playing hockey and netball.
“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Steels, a former captain of City of Peterborough Hockey Club, said.
“I can’t believe it! I knew I was in good form but I didn’t expect to be so successful!
“It was a tough race and I had to work hard on the first run to stay in a good position.
“I felt really strong on the bike and loved the bike course – I’m so lucky to have been able to ride that course, the views were incredible.
“I came off the bike with a good lead and managed to maintain that over the last run so I finished 1 minute 30 seconds ahead of second place.
I can’t believe it! I knew I was in good form but I didn’t expect to be so successful!Claire Steels, World Age Group (25-29) ladies sprint duathlon champion
“It was amazing to win but it was made even more special as I was able to share the podium with two other British girls.
“I’m so happy my hard work has paid off and I have to thank my coaches Mark Griffin and Sean Beard for all of their help on the bike and at the running track.
“I wouldn’t have qualified without them and I certainly wouldn’t be bringing home the gold medal without them!
“I’m looking forward to coming home, having a little bit of a rest and then hitting the cross country season hard and maybe picking up a hockey stick again!”