No need to tri harder - Chichester’s big event is a winner

Dan Bailey swims his way to triathlon honours
Dan Bailey swims his way to triathlon honours
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Crowds turned out in huge numbers to support family and friends competing in Chichester’s annual triathlon.

The running, swimming and cycling event was another major success among organisers and competitors and saw experienced athletes take part in the Olympic-standard triathlon and less seasoned ones complete the try-a-tri event.

Councillor Peter Clementson, the chairman of Chichester District Council, watched the event and presented the winning athletes with their trophies and medals.

He declared himself pleased with the day and praised everyone involved for putting together an incredible day.

He said: “It’s been a really good day. Everyone has put in a good effort, and I’m proud of them all. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the day, and I’m very encouraged by what I’ve seen.

“It’s certainly been a huge success, and that has been largely down to all of the organisers, who have worked very hard in this. I would like the thank them all, in particular Amy Roots, Mike Cooper and Jason Davis.”

One of the stars of the triathlon was Chichester’s Dan Bailey.

It was Bailey’s first year in the senior male event after graduating from the juniors and he finished third with an impressive time of 1hr 58mins.

Chris Birch finished ahead of Bailey in second place in 1hr 56, while Peter Younghusband from Petersfield marginally beat both to claim first place with a time of 1hr 55.

Cllr Clementson said: “We’re all very proud of Dan and what he’s achieved. He’s inspiring stars of the future.”

In addition to finishing in a respectable third place, Bailey was also rewarded for the Chichester Westgate Triathlon Club championship for the fastest time for the third successive year.

Despite this, the Olympic prospect was disappointed at failing to finish first - but he admitted he faced strong competition in Younghusband and Birch and is looking to the future.

He said: “I felt I struggled a bit on the bikes. It was my first year competing in the seniors, and I knew I would face tough competition in Peter and Chris.

“It’s my third successive year to win the trophy for being the fastest club member, and I’m very proud to have done so.

“Overall I’m pleased with my finish and will now look forward to my next competition in London, which I’d like to achieve a top-half finish in.”

Bailey will compete in the London Elite competition at the end of this month, which pits the best triathletes from around the world against each other and bears a prestigious trophy as well as a top prize of $15,000 for the winner.

Winner younghusband said: “It was really great to win Chichester for the second year running. Chris really gave me a tough race which was reflected in the quicker times this year despite the wet and gusty conditions.

“Chichester District Council exceeded expectations and put on a fantastic race yet again. Both Daniel and I now have a period of hard training as we prepare for the ITU World triathlon championships in Beijing later in the year.”

In addition to Bailey, Chichester may well have discovered another rising star in youngster Wilf Hill, who beat his opponents in the junior male event with an impressive time of 2hr 28min.

Mary Campbell was another who picked up silverware on Sunday – she won the senior female event with an equally impressive 2hr 13min.

JACK PRESTON

See this week’s (July 21) Observer for a full list of finishers from the triathlon, plus pictures from the triathlon and from Saturday’s junior aquathon