TAVISTOCK has a European champion after experienced international athlete Sam Lake scooped gold in the European Aquathlon, part of the European Multisport Championships last weekend.

Sam, of Tavistock Swimming Club, won her 45-49 age category, just the latest of her many medal successes over the years. The event was at Coimbra, Portgual, and also featured six athletes from West Devon taking part in the middle distance triathlon.

Sam said: “It was an epic race in a stunning location. I’m absolutely over the moon to come away with gold. It’s always nerve-racking going into these championships. It’s not been the easiest season and I knew I’d worked really hard and focused on working to this goal. I wanted to do well, but I didn’t know what I had to give. It turned out my body let me race hard. The training paid off and it felt so good.”

The aquathlon is a 1km river swim and 5km run. Sam led the swim from her age group wave start and exited over a minute ahead. She was the sixth fastest swim overall and finished sixth overall out of 186 athletes of all ages. 

Sam added: “The swim felt great, leading from the start. Lots of open water training has helped. The river had a slight current, but water felt good. The run was strong and I was really happy with it.

“The five km run was my season’s best time. It was two undulating loops on a multi-terrain surface, so a great challenging course. The last 800m were pretty tough in the heat but the prospect of winning gold kept me very motivated.

“I felt elated and overwhelmed. But grateful to be able to race, while winning was the icing on the cake. My winter training paid off despite it being tricky at times. Consistency has been key.

“I am so grateful as always, so every single person who has supported, coached, guided and advised me to this point. They have allowed me to achieve far beyond my dreams.”

Hannah Smith, 25-29 age cat, achieved a pb over the 70.3km, finishing in 4.49.47 - fifth in her age category and 12 out of 130 women overall. She will be training for the world championships in New Zealand.

Hannah Worth, 40-45 age group, despite not feeling well, smashed her swim and bike segment in the searing heat. Jenny Jeeves and EJ Findlay, 54-55, had a fantastic race, with this also being EJ's debut for Great Britain, finishing fifth overall in her category. 

Jenny Jeeves had a really good, solid swim, a very strong bike segment, cycling fastest in her age and then smashing her run to secure an awesome silver medal for her age group finishing in a superb time of 5h 7min.

Jenny Jeeves, European celebrates her European triathlon silver  in her age category.
Jenny Jeeves celebrates her European triathlon silver in her age category. (Submitted)
L to R: European triathlon successes -Hannah Smith fifth in 25-29 age cat  (PB);. Jenny Jeeves silver age cat and Hannah Worth, 40-45 age cat.
L to R: European triathlon successes; Hannah Smith, fifth in 25-29 age category (PB); Jenny Jeeves, silver in her age category, and Hannah Worth, 40-45 age category. (Submitted)
Sam Lake runs to her European aquathlon gold in her 45-49 age category.
Sam Lake runs to her European aquathlon gold in her 45-49 age category. (Submitted)