Young tri star con­tin­ues to in­spire

And now it’s off to Pen­rith to tackle the best Aus­tralia and NZ have to of­fer

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT - By GRANT BRYANT

Queen­stown’s triathlon young­gun Fynn Thomp­son took top spot at last week’s Lake Hayes Triathlon’s sprint dis­tance event, con­tin­u­ing the win­ning form that has those in the know tip­ping him as a fu­ture Olympian. Seven­teen-year-old Thomp­son’s win­ning time of 1:07:11 in the event was closely fol­lowed by Win­ton’s Troy McAlis­ter with a time of 1:07:52 . Com­ing in third was Will Suther­land 1:12:34 Thomp­son has just fin­ished high school and is tak­ing a gap year be­fore univer­sity. A part-time job as a bike me­chanic at H&J Smith’s Out­door World al­lows him a full train­ing regime, which he will be us­ing to max­imise some big op­por­tu­ni­ties this year. ‘‘I’ll be start­ing the na­tional Elite Se­ries in mid-Jan­uary, and head­ing to Pen­rith to take part in the Aus­tralian Jnr Se­ries later in the year,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ll con­cen­trate on some good train­ing and com­pe­ti­tion, and get to var­sity next year.’’ The for­mer Wakatipu High School stu­dent got the Christ­mas present he wanted from Tri NZ when he was in­vited to race in the SCODY Aus­tralian Ju­nior Tri Se­ries in Pen­rith, Aus­tralia in Jan­uary. He will be rac­ing with the top 16 to 19-year-olds in Aus­tralia and New Zealand be­tween Jan­uary 10 and 14. Triathlon or­gan­iser Adrian Bai­ley said it was great to have such a young ath­lete stamp his mark on the event. ‘‘He’s a real in­spi­ra­tion for ev­ery­one in the tri scene here, and hav­ing him win the speed tri is another great achieve­ment that I’m sure will stretch well into the fu­ture and see Fynn rep­re­sent­ing New Zealand and be­come an Olympian very soon.’’ As the old­est con­tin­u­ously run­ning triathlon in the coun­try, the Lake Hayes event drew a large and varied field, Mr Bai­ley said. ‘‘It’s great to see peo­ple from all walks of life - from first timers to elite ath­letes, com­pet­ing. Peo­ple from all over the coun­try know that De­cem­ber 27 is al­ways go­ing to be a great day of rac­ing in a re­ally beau­ti­ful spot.’’ In the Olympic triathlon sec­tion Wanaka’s Dou­gal Al­lan took out top spot with a time of 2:10:15. In sec­ond place was Brett Tin­gay with 2:10:43 and Nick Ren­nie came in third with 2:14:18.

Pho­tos: GRANT BRYANT 628780600

High flyer: Queen­stown’s young gun of triathlon Fynn Thomp­son crosses the line for top spot in the sprint dis­tance triathlon.

628780604

Fi­nal three: Flank­ing win­ner Fynn Thomp­son are third place get­ter Will Suther­land (left) and sec­ond place get­ter (right) Troy McAlis­ter.

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