Deepings triathlete Kayleigh Adams (19) is now a real prospect in the sport after winning silver at the European Sprint Championships in Switzerland.
The Spalding Triathlon Club member overcame blistering conditions in Geneva on Friday to finish her 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run in 1:17:02, just two seconds behind winner Camille Bauer of Switzerland.
Kayleigh of Deeping St James, who only took up triathlon two years ago, was half a minute ahead of another Swiss, Katja Moser in third as the three medallists in the 15-19 age group.
“I was very happy with silver because there were quite a few good athletes in the field,” Kayleigh said.
“The swim went well but the bike ride was hilly, so I gave it absolutely everything.
“I had nothing left in my legs for the run but overall, everything worked out how I wanted it to go.”
Kayleigh’s mum Clare Wookey added: “It was always her aim to get on the podium, it was just a question of whether everything went right on the day.
“It was a really good race and I think it’s phenomenal what Kayleigh has done.”
Meanwhile, Nene Valley Harrier Abi Schofield (25) came 12th in the Womens’ 25-29 age group after clocking the second fastest run of the day.
Abi of Peterborough, who took up the sport only 14 months ago, would have finished even higher but for her goggles “steaming up” during the swim and another triathlete crashing into her bike during the first transition.
It was always her aim to get on the podium and I think it’s phenomenal what Kayleigh has done.Kayleigh Adams’s mother Clare Wookey
The special needs teacher said: “I’m in shock at how well I did considering my inexperience, busy lifestyle and the incidents with my goggle and bike chain.
“The swim was in choppy waters, but I got into a rhythm until my goggles started to steam up and I couldn’t see anything.
“So the goggles had to come off, costing me a minute.
“Then after finding my bike in the transition area, another girl was struggling to get on hers and she crashed into mine, taking the chain right off.
“After getting the chain back on, I felt okay on the bike and with the crowd shouting my name, I went as fast as I could on the run.
“My parents were very shocked that I’d done so well, having gone from a novice to 12th in Europe in 14 months.”
British Triathlon performance director Brendan Purcell said: “The Europeans are a good opportunity to learn championship delivery and it was particularly valuable for young and developing athletes.”