Teenage Gravesend triathlete Sophie Coldwell set for Youth Olympic Festival competition in Australia
Teenage Gravesend triathlete Sophie
Coldwell aims to emulate the success of TeamGB triathlon hero Jonny
Brownlee when she competes in the Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney
The 17-year-old – who learned to
swim at the Cygnet Leisure Centre in Northfleet – is one of two
girls in the TeamGB squad for the competition, which is seen as a
stepping stone to future Olympic Games.
The 2009 YOF men’s triathlon was
won by Jonny Brownlee, who went on to claim bronze at London 2012
behind brother Alistair and A-level student Coldwell, now based in
Nottinghamshire, has her sights set on emulating their success.
She said: "I know Jonny won the
last one and I know about other athletes who have competed at these
events and gone on to the Olympics, so hopefully it will be a
valuable experience and a stepping stone to major events in the
future for me.
"Anything can happen in seven years
but hopefully one day I can call myself an Olympic medallist."
Coldwell added: "This is the first
and last time I will get to experience a multi-sport event like
this unless I make it to an Olympics so I am looking forward to the
opening and closing ceremony, athletes’ village and making friends
with athletes from other sports and countries."
Coldwell’s individual competition will be held on Friday
morning local time at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, with
the team relay challenge following on Saturday morning.
She said: "I haven’t got any
specific goals or targets.
"I’m not in the best shape to race.
However, I’m still hoping to put in a solid performance and a
top-eight finish would be good start to the year."
Despite Australia being in the
midst of a historic heatwave, the British Triathlon Talent Squad
member revealed she had adapted better than expected.
She said: "Training has been
getting done at six in the morning to avoid the 40 degree heat. I’m
finding the heat OK, normally I tend to suffer.
"At the European Championships in
Israel earlier in the year, I couldn’t remember the last 1,500m of
the run or recognise the coach."
Coldwell swims at the same Leander club in Nottinghamshire as
double-Olympic gold medallist Rebecca Adlington but said: "My
family mainly live in Gravesend and Rainham and we come down as
often as we can to see them.
"We’re always on the motorway."
Follow @AlexHoadKOL on twitter for all your Australian
Youth Olympic Festival updates.
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