Young tri star continues to inspire
And now it’s off to Penrith to tackle the best Australia and NZ have to offer
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.
High flyer: Queenstown’s young gun of triathlon Fynn Thompson crosses the line for top spot in the sprint distance triathlon.
Final three: Flanking winner Fynn Thompson are third place getter Will Sutherland (left) and second place getter (right) Troy McAlister.