On top of the world

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d455487

VIC­TO­RIA Park-based fit­ness trainer Stu­art Durham has helped tal­ented ath­lete Matt Smith be­come world duathalon cham­pion not once but twice. Smith com­peted in Spain this year, where he claimed his lat­est vic­tory.

HE was the youngest com­peti­tor in his age cat­e­gory, but that did not stop Matt Smith from be­ing crowned a World Duathlon Cham­pion for the sec­ond year in a row.

Smith (20) se­cured his back-to­back championship in his age cat­e­gory of 20-24 but also man­aged to come fifth over­all in the event against 1300 en­trants.

This year, Smith com­pleted a longer course with a 10km run, 40km bike ride fol­lowed by a 5km run.

The event was held in Spain and Smith said he knew the com­pe­ti­tion was go­ing to be fierce.

“I re­ally didn’t ex­pect to win this year be­cause I was by far the youngest in my cat­e­gory,” he said.

“Also, go­ing to the world’s most dom­i­nant triathlon coun­try, Spain, there was al­ways go­ing to be qual­ity com­pe­ti­tion.

“So I just went into the race with a sim­ple race plan to see where I ended up.”

Ahead of the pack from the out­set, Smith said de­spite his win, he could have pushed him­self harder.

“We were the first wave off, and I was the first out of all the ath­letes to fin­ish, so that in it­self was amaz­ing be­cause the crowd was cheer­ing in­sanely loud for me,” he said.

In the lead-up to the com­pe­ti­tion, Smith trained ex­ten­sively with Vic­to­ria Park-based club Eclipse Fit­ness, un­der coach Stu­art Durham.

“Train­ing was pretty hec­tic, it was twice a day al­most ev­ery day a week with the oc­ca­sional three ses­sion day,” Smith said.

Back in Perth with his gold medal in tow, Smith said the Eclipse Fit­ness com­mu­nity had cel­e­brated with him by go­ing on a group run.

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d455487

Matt Smith with coach Stu­art Durham.

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