TRIATHLON: Ryan takes Hart from Euro spot

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SPALDING Triathlon Club’s Ryan Hart has qualified for next summer’s European Sprint Triathlon Championships after a stellar showing at the Grendon Triathlon.

The Northampton event, which served a qualifying race for the Turkey championships to be held summer, consisted of a 750m lake swim, 23km bike and a shortened 4.2km run due to the recent downpours.

Hart, who is a student at Durham University, has spent all year training in a warm swimming pool. But he donned a wetsuit for the first discipline – which saw him racing in a cold 13 degrees C lake.

With around 200 people in his wave and a 90 degree turn around a buoy after only 150m, he decided the best strategy would be to start at the front, go off hard and to try and avoid the chaos that was bound to ensue.

Exiting near the front of his wave in the swim, he was able to battle against some strong cyclists on the bike course.

Although Hart entered T2 in a good position, it was clear that on the run that he did not quite meet the standard to keep up with the group he set off with – and he didn’t think he’d one another at the finish line.

But it wasn’t until a few days later that it was confirmed that he had achieved the fourth qualification spot and will be racing in his first age group race next summer.

With this slot in the bag, Hart’s aim now is to qualify for the ETU standard distance race, also to be held in Turkey.

With a preference to race Olympic distance when he gets to Turkey, the Spalding Tri ace is now back in training for another qualifying race at the end of July.