Abbie is England's top finisher
SWIMMING: Swimming and triathlon sensation Abbie Thorrington is taking a well earned break on a family holiday in Cornwall this week – after claiming a well deserved top spot in a tough European competition.
By Debbie Watson
SWIMMING and triathlon sensation Abbie Thorrington is taking a well earned break on a family holiday in Cornwall this week – after claiming a well deserved top spot in a tough European competition.
The 15-year-old Ipswich girl grabbed the British limelight in the Triathlon European Championship when she achieved highest placed girl for her country.
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Abbie, a member of Ipswich Swimming Club, also took the fastest female time for the swimming and cycling leg of the gruelling event.
Picked for the Austria-based event just a few weeks ago, Abbie took part in the triathlon along with 11 other British team-members.
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She raced for the 14 and 15-year- old age group in a team of three similarly ranked Britons. In all, some 15 countries took part and Abbie helped her squad seal a fourth place final position.
In a competition that saw her swimming 300 metres, cycling 5km and running 1.5km, Abbie recorded the fourth highest individual split time for the event (of those in her age group).
"I was thrilled with the race," she commented. "I never expected to achieve a result like that so it was an amazing feeling for me.
"My goal this year had simply been to qualify for the Europeans so anything over and above that was merely a bonus."
Abbie has been training hard over the last few months – particularly in the pool.
"I think the fact that I'm a strong swimmer is a big advantage to me," she added.
"My coach Dave Champion knows what my focus has been so he's been helping me in training by giving me more longer distances.
"I'm convinced that they really paid off for me in Austria."
Now on holiday to recuperate after the big event, Abbie is returning her focus to new triathlon goals – and she's certainly not stopped training.
"I'm still running everyday of my holiday, just to keep on top of my fitness," she said.
"It's a good time to be training because the Europeans left me feeling confident. It's an extra motivation when you've had a success like that."
Abbie is still too young to compete at senior level World Class triathlon events, so for now the European Championship will remain her annual focus.
"After the result from Austria I'm just determined to keep on making the Europeans.
"I'm doing better than I ever dreamed I would – but I hope it will get even better."