3:10pm Wednesday 6th March 2013
There was no stopping Mat Dewey and Margaret Smith when they travelled to Solihull for the West Midlands Modern Triathlon Regional Championships.
Their aim was to qualify for the British Modern Triathlon Championships next month at the same venue. Margaret took the overall Masters Ladies class while Mat’s tremendous performance in the combined event gave him a well deserved first place in the Junior Men’s class. The rules and points have changed much over recent years and this year the combined event (shoot and run) was incorporated into the Modern Triathlon to bring it into line with Modern Pentathlon. Being part of the TASS squad (Talented Athlete Support Scheme), Mat has done the combined event many times at home and abroad.
But this was Margaret’s first attempt, and she had never shot at knock down targets before.
As well as the shooting for the combined event, the skill element of shooting was kept, and the first discipline was ten scoring shots where a delighted Margaret scored a superb 87, which won her “best shoot” by ten points. Her 100m swim was, in her own words, “awful”, with the winner touching 11 seconds before her.
But her combined event was a 20m run to shoot down five targets then an 800m run to finish. Margaret’s run gave her first place overall in the Masters Ladies class, but she will have to practise the very different fast shooting before the Nationals. Mat, in his first year in the Junior Men’s class (age 19-21), is an excellent shot, scoring 88 for “best shoot”. He was down on his best for his 200m swim, but still clocked 2.24.61. For his combined event, he had to shoot down five targets, followed by an 800m run, three times altogether. Mat shot down all five targets within his 50 seconds at each of his three times on the range, enabling him to gain valuable seconds on the run course.
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