Fastest time of the year earns Ian second spot at European Sprint Duathlon
Rutland athlete Ian Selmes has scooped his first international medal after recording his fastest time of the year.
Whissendine-based Selmes secured second spot and a silver medal in the 65-69 age group category at the European Sprint Duathlon at Targu Mures in Romania.
He completed the event in 1hr 12 min 44 secs to finish behind gold medal winner Juan Vicente Izquierdo Rey from Spain who proved quicker on the cycling section.
Selmes said: "This was my fastest time of 2019 so I had done my best.
"At the medal ceremony, to stand behind the podium and step up onto it as my name was called, with national flags held behind the medal winners, to receive the cheering and applause, was a brilliant experience.
"It also brings automatic qualification for the 2020 European Championships."
Selmes is a former teacher at Oakham School where he was head of geography and then a staff tutor before retiring and then working at Leicester University on their teacher training course.
He coached cross-country and middle distance athletics while also competing in five full and 50 half-marathons.
On retiring in 2014, with more time to train, Selmes also took up road race bike riding to combine all the elements in a sprint duathlon discipline which involves a 5km run, 20km road bike and another 2.5km run.
He initially qualified for the 60-65 age group and competed at the European Championships in Alcobendas, Spain (2015), Kalkar, Germany (2016), Soria, Spain (2017) and at the World Championships in Aviles, Spain (2016) and Fyn, Denmark (2018).
Qualification for the 2019 European Multisport Championships involved races at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire and Bedford Autodrome where he competed in the 65-69 age group.
Selmes explained: "I found the almost daily training in one or both disciplines to be both fun and relaxing, challenging to become faster while enjoying the Rutland countryside.
"In particular I train on the quiet undulating country roads to the north of Whissendine and I had improved my 5km speed on the Rutland Water Park Runs, reducing my 2019 time to 20min 58 seconds in April.
"Qualifiying for the European Sprint Duathlon was exciting as an opportunity to travel and challenge myself in competition against similar aged athletes from Britain and other countries.
"Competing abroad is usually in the summer, very different to the cold and wet of the spring and autumn duathlon competitions generally met in Britain.
"Moving up to the 65-69 age group was also a moment to be even more competitive."
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More by this authorJames Bedford