Europe next for Margaret and Matthew

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

Andover athletes Matthew Cook, Jared Rolfe and Margaret Smith took part in race three in the 2014 British Biathle Series at the Sandford Parks Lido in Cheltenham.

Matthew, in the Youth A class (age 17-18) was up against very strong opposition and as always set off at a cracking pace and after a good first 1500m run he swam an excellent 200m followed by another fine run, to cross in third place for the bronze medal.

Matthew always pushes himself to the limit and was a little disappointed that after taking gold in every British Tour race he has competed in since taking up Biathle last year he had to settle for the bronze this time, but it was a tremendous performance which he should be proud of.

Jared in his third biathle is continuing to impress in his Youth C class (age 13-14).

His distances are a 500m run followed by a 100m swim then another 500m run and after a fine first run Jared, who is being coached by Matthew for his swimming, was in tremendous form.

He swam so well he found it hard to pull himself out of the water. Jared has mastered fast transitions and was quickly off on his second run, which he finished strongly to take seventh place.

Masters C competitor (age 60-69) Margaret has not been at her best this year, and has been well behind her main rival Mary Collett in each of her races.

Her World Tour race in Italy saw her finish one minute 13 secs behind Mary, which was the closest gap this year.

Margaret has just taken part in race four of the GB series, at Brockholes Nature Reserve near Preston.

With blue green algae at the original venue near Blackpool, the organisers did exceptionally well to find a new venue just three weeks before the competition.

Despite having a cold, Margaret felt this was her best race this year and with a superb swim where she caught and overtook one of the younger Masters ladies, and a second run stronger than of late, Margaret was happy with her race.

Matthew and Margaret’s next races are the Biathle World Tour in Germany and the European Biathle Championships in Portugal. Jared only just missed out on a qualifying time for Germany.

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