Matthew hat-trick comes all at once
ABERDEEN triathlete Chris Roy today revealed why he decided to turn down the chance to compete at the World Championships in Beijing.
The 25-year-old was surprised when he was informed by the British selectors that he had qualified for the international class event in September, admitting he didn’t expect to make the cut this year.
However, having committed himself to appearing at the Valencia Grand Prix triathlon on September 11 and as the dates clash with the Beijing race, he plans to stick to his original schedule. “I know some coaches and fellow competitors will question my decision not to take part in Beijing, but I’ve got my reasons for that,” said Chris.
“I originally started training for Valencia back in December so it would be too much of a gamble to switch my emphasis on to a new goal, after qualifying for Beijing only last month.
“Some might argue that the World Triathlon Championships are bigger and better than anything else, but I honestly believe I’ll benefit more from competing in Valencia because there will be a strong field there.
“In Beijing the triathletes will go out as two different groups – age-group athletes and elite athletes.
“So I won’t gain any experience from competing alongside the world’s best triathletes.
“It’s totally different in Valencia where all competitors will start together and compete in one overall event.
“This will give me the opportunity to test myself against more seasoned athletes on a European stage, which can only help me to progress in my overall development. It will provide me with a valuable marker for next year.
“From a financial perspective, travelling to and preparing for Beijing would be a great deal more expensive than Valencia so that’s been another factor in my decision.”
Chris is now focused for his Spanish test in Valencia, with the event a celebration of the city’s 2011 European Capital of Sport title.
He has competed in Spain before but only in very minor races when he’s been over on training camps.
He added: “The heat will be a major issue and that’s something I have been working hard to try to replicate here.
“I’ve been training indoors in 30 degree temperatures to prepare as much as possible for that which should help me acclimatise over the coming months.
“The Valencia event is one of the best organised events on the triathlon calendar and we’ll be competing on closed roads which is a real bonus.
“It also features Valencia’s best known sites and during the cycling we’ll be using the Formula 1 track and crossing the famous Alameda Bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava.
“Competing on smooth surface roads should also help when it comes to recording better times.”
Before Valencia in September, Chris will defend his Scottish Open Water Championship crown in Edinburgh next month.
He won the event last year despite only entering the competition after a month long training break and will be going all out to beat his winning time of 24 minutes at the Portobello swim on Saturday, August 13. MATTHEW Duguid had n e v e r won a S c o t t i s h athletics medal before this season.
But now the 13-year-old Mackie Academy pupil has three. What’s even more impressive is that his hattrick of successes came on the same day in the national under-14 championships at Glasgow’s Scotstoun stadium. The Banchory Stonehaven AC member kicked off by soaring to a new personal best height of 1.55 metres to win the high jump.
He then produced an excellent throw of 22.93m to clinch bronze in the discus.
Matthew followed that up by clocking a personal best time of 26.85secs to win his heat in the 200m, before completing an exhausting day by taking third position in the final in 27.10.
Matthew’s medal haul might have been even greater had he been able to take part in his favourite event, the 100m.
But, as mum Judy explained, that wasn’t to be. She said: “The time of the 100m was changed, meaning that he couldn’t do it, which was very disappointing.
“But he just put it behind him and focused on the other three events.”
Stonehaven-based Matthew has been competing since he was nine and he juggles his athletics interest around other sports.
He is a successful badminton player, being part of the Scottish national squad, and is also a decent footballer.