AN ACCOMPLISHED West Country amateur athlete has added to her impressive achievements by scooping a silver medal at the World Aquathlon Championships title — by running and swimming at her fastest ever.

Sam Lake, who teaches 7-11 year-olds at Tavistock Primary School, was second female (aged 45-49) at the ITU World Triathlon last week. She said: ‘I was delighted with a silver at the World Aquathlon Champs in Ibiza. What an incredible experience!’

She is especially pleased with her success because, although she won the title last year in Slovenia with a gold in the 40-44 group, this year the standard was so high she had to run and swim her fastest triathlon legs ever in order to come second: ‘So, the results pace-wise from me were my best ever efforts, both in swim and run compared to other races. This shows the standard of competition was much higher at this one and also i was competing against more competitors from more countries this year.’

She emerged from the water with a strong swim on a long course (1.2km) in around 16 minutes at the front of her age group wave of swimmers. A quick transition to change footwear, saw her leading the run.

‘At the halfway turning point I knew I was being chased down by the second lady. We battled forwards and backward until the finish where she just beat me to the line by ten seconds, despite running and swimming the fastest aquathlon legs I’ve competed in so far, with a 19-minute five-km run.

‘I am over the moon with silver, knowing I left nothing out there and gave it my all. I thoroughly enjoyed the race element. Also, Ibiza was a great host location and the event was a huge success all round.’

She thanked sport clothing business Change Robe, of Grenofen, for its support and Tavistock Swimming Club and Tavistock Athletics Club for ‘excellent training schedules and supportive company’.

She added: ‘I’d like to thank my amazing family and husband James Lake, also my swim coach, without whom, none of these crazy dreams would be able to come true. Finally, thanks to my school who gave me a superb hero’s welcome in morning assembly on my return. I really enjoy inspiring all the children to achieve their goals and aspirations.’

Sam is now looking forward to the European Aquathlon Championships in Belgium in August.

She has represented England in the World Marathon Masters and the British Marathon Championships five times, with a best of 2hrs 59min. She won a world bronze in 2018 and three silvers in 2017, 2018 and 2019 in the European Championships.