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BIATHLE: Duo answering their national call
TWO Trowbridge teenagers are gearing up to take on the best youngsters in the world after being picked to represent Great Britain at the Biathle World Championships next month.
Dan Shepherd, who turned 15 on Tuesday, and Freddie Webb, 13, who are both pupils at John of Gaunt School and members of Trowbridge Amateur Swimming Club, will jet to Limassol, Cyprus, on October 5.
Biathle is an emerging offshoot of modern pentathlon and Shepherd will be competing in the Youth B category, which consists of a 200m swim, sandwiched by two 1000m runs in a continuous race. Webb is in the Youth C group (500m runs and a 100m swim).
The pair both qualified for the world championships with top-five finishes at the National Biathle Championships in Salford Quays, Manchester, last month and Shepherd says he’s excited by the prospect of competing in his first Great Britain kit.
“I’m really excited about going because I never really expected to be going to a world championships,” he said.
“We both started off doing schools biathlon but eventually had the chance to give biathle a go. It’s quite hard physically because you don’t have time to rest inbetween the runs and the swim but I’ve enjoyed the challenge of that.
“I think that representing your country means that there’s a bit more responsibility on me to perform but if I do my best then the result should come.
“It’s nice to be going there with someone that you know too. Freddie’s in the year below me at school and we have a good laugh when we train together.”
Webb, who also trains with Aquae Sulis performance swimming club in Bath, flies out to Cyprus on his 14th birthday on October 2.
Mum Sally added: “It was the swimming club that introduced them to biathle and Freddie is really happy to be going to the world championships.
“He’s been invited to train with the BTF (British Triathlon Federation) South West talent squad too, which is great news for him.”
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