Biathlete Matthew makes his mark to retain title

Basingstoke Gazette: Matthew Cook, Margaret Smith and Jared Rolfe Matthew Cook, Margaret Smith and Jared Rolfe

The first Biathle of 2014 was the South West Championships which took place at Leweston School, Sherborne in Dorset.

Three from Andover were competing, old hand Margaret Smith, Matthew Cook, whose first biathle was this competition a year ago, and Jared Rolfe in his first competition .

Cook showed his potential a year ago by winning the Youth A class and after a very good first 1500m run, his 200m swim was nothing short of amazing.

It was the strongest biathle swim Matt has done and his second run was equally impressive as he retained his title with a time almost two minutes faster than on the same course a year ago.

Rolfe, in the Youth C class (age 13-14), was a little nervous before the race with not knowing what to expect.

With a steady first 500m run he was soon through transition and into his 100m swim.

It was expected to be his weakest event but with a superb swim he made up three places.

Back out for his second 500m run he kept up a good pace and approaching the finishing line he was caught but Jared had put everything into his race and was pipped to the post, taking an excellent seventh place.

Masters C competitor Margaret Smith was not 100 per cent after taking a chest infection three weeks before, while on holiday. Both her 1,000m runs were slow, but her 100m swim felt good, and she enjoyed just taking part.

The next competition is the first in the British Series, at Millfield in Street.

This is also the selection competition for the European Biathle Championships which take place in Setubal, Portugal in July.

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