Andover triathlete Natalie Thomas has recently returned from the European Aquathlon championships in Cologne, Germany as 25-29 age category champion. Victorious Natalie crossed the line as the second placed female but as all of the age groups were racing together the first placed female was in a different age group, which gave Natalie the European title.

The newly crowned Natalie told the Advertiser: “I felt well rested and was looking forward to seeing what I could do and the day of the race brought a lovely sunny day with very little wind.

‘The 1000m swim was held in a small harbour area on the Rhine and the run was 5km, consisting of two loops of 2.5km on a flat course with some cobbled areas.”

There was a chance to get in the water and warm up before the start and it worked well as once the hooter went she was off getting clear of the other swimmers very early on and exited in second place overall before navigating a flight of concrete steps before heading into transition to get the wetsuit off and shoes on as fast as possible. She had the fastest transition time out of all the age group females of 47 seconds and headed out onto the run as second female just behind the German athlete but couldn't close the gap, however the gap between herself and the other athletes behind increased slightly and she even went past some of the men who started five minutes before.

She added: “I was really happy with how the race went, especially as I had a disappointing race a couple of weeks earlier and had been feeling pretty tired. I was amazed at how good I felt, especially on the swim and it was great to be on the podium with two other British athletes and friends.”