Alnwick student helps North East to gold medal triathlon success

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Alnwick Dolphin Emilia Waugh, racing for the North East triathlon squad, has returned home with a gold medal from the British Triathlon Inter-regional championships in Leicestershire.

The 12-year-old Duchess’s Community High School student was part of a 16-strong team that went up against the other eight English regions, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands.

The demanding two-day competition included multiple forms of multi-sport racing.

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Dad Joe Waugh explained: “Day 1 started with individual races. Two semi finals of 26 girls in each. Top 10 in each go to the final. Emilia was comfortably though with no stress in 4th place. Then it was on to the final.”

Emilia Waugh and her brother, Finlay.Emilia Waugh and her brother, Finlay.
Emilia Waugh and her brother, Finlay.

On a 350m open water swim straight into 1.25km run, Emilia exited the water in 11th in the final but tore into the run. Carving through the field she was up to 6th with 250m to go and closing. Alas, not quite enough though, missing the podium by just eight seconds.

Day 2 saw the mixed team relay. Taking her place on leg 2 of the North East’s “A” team she was tagged in down in 13th.

“The relay is so exciting. 200m lake swim, 2.5k cycle, 1.25k run done by 4 athletes - 2 boys, 2 girls. I love watching it,” mum Helen added.

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Emilia had an outstanding leg bring the team up to fifth, tagging in Aidan Turner and ultimately Katy Otterson the team went on to take first place.

With 16 individual athletes and 4 relay teams for each region the competition includes 200 of the best young triathletes in the U.K.

After all the numbers were crunched the presentation came with much anticipation the North East were crowed 2023 British Triathlon Champions.

“I would have loved to have got an individual medal too, but to win the relay and get gold overall, with all my friends in the team is really special,” Emilia explained.

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Finley, 10, Emilia’s younger brother, there in support, said: “Next year I want to join her in the team and make it the two of us going home with medals!”

Huge thanks go to the North East triathlon development programme, Alnwick Dolphins, Alnwick Harriers, and Duchess’s Community High School whose support has been instrumental in Emilia’s success. Follow Emilia and Finley’s future races on instagram @teamwaugh2023.