Triathlete in fine fettle for new season
Promising young Queenstown triathlete Fynn Thompson is eyeing up another competitive summer season after winning his first national duathlon title last weekend. Thompson, a year 12 pupil at Wakatipu High School, was stoked to claim the Under-16 New Zealand Duathlon title in a convincing fashion in Taupo last Sunday, especially given it was the first duathlon he had entered. ‘‘I had the fastest last run of the day, too, so I was pretty happy with that,’’ he said. With few events to compete in during the off season, duathlon was popular with many of his peers because it provided a good opportunity for them to improve their speed, he said. But with triathlon season just around the corner, his focus is now firmly on his favoured three-leg sprint distance event. Thompson will join an international lineup of athletes when he competes in the 2012 World Triathlon Championships in Auckland on Labour Day. Racing in the 16- to 19-year-old category, Thompson will be one of the youngest athletes in his field and said he was heading into the event with an open mind. Though he was looking forward to donning the New Zealand uniform, Thompson said his real focus was the New Zealand age group championships in March. He is training up to 20 hours a week under the guidance of swim coach Frank Wylie and triathlon coach Val Burke, and Thompson said he hoped his performance this season might attract sponsorship offers and help take the pressure off the bank of Mum and Dad.
Winner: Queenstown triathlete Fynn Thompson at Lake Hayes.