Matthew hat-trick comes all at once

Evening Express (Extra Edition) - - FORE! - By Fraser Clyne

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.

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