TWO Isle of Wight triathletes celebrated gaining World Sprint Distance Championships qualification, but are also anxiously hoping their times are good enough to qualify for next year's European event.

Wight Tri athletes Jan Fletcher and veteran, Liz Dunlop, have had a busy time recently, having taken on two British Triathlon Foundation (the sport's governing body) age group qualification events over the past two weekends.

                                  ETON DORNEY SPRINT TRIATHLON
THE pair began with the Eton Dorney Sprint Triathlon — the 2024 European Sprint Distance Championships qualifier for this distance.

Both females had PB swims, despite their struggles with the freezing Dorney Lake temperature.

However, the air temperature and wind on the bike course proved to have a more detrimental affect on their performance.

Liz was lucky to get into a fast pack on the bike, and so chalked up another PB performance — but she struggled on the windy run, with her reduced core temperature.

However, Liz battled on to finish fifth in the 65-69 age group, in a PB time of 1.28.02, to finish in a sixth-placed qualifying position.

Jan also got into a pack on the bike too, but rather than push on hard, she tried to shelter in the pack — keeping her legs for the run.

She finished with a fantastic run split and an overall time of 1.16.46 to come tenth in the 45-49 category and seventh qualifier.

As only the first four gain automatic qualification, Jan and Liz are now hoping their times are good enough for a roll down place in the 2024 European Sprint Distance Championships.

FOLLOWING their below par performances at Eton Dorney, Liz and Jan turned the tables in this 2024 Age Group World Standard Distance Triathlon Championships qualifier.

Both women excelled, gaining automatic qualification.

Jan and Liz both finished second in their respective age groups, with qualification slots achieved for the championships in Malaga.

This was one of the toughest events both have completed.

A 1,500m swim over two laps in the lake, in a huge mixed field, was a tough way to start, followed by a 40km undulating bike course, made worse by the poor road conditions and cold wind.

This would have been bad enough, but it finished with a hilly, two-lap off-road 10km run that was not for the faint-hearted.

However, the grit and determination of these seasoned triathletes shone through to earn their qualification places.

Jan posted great splits for all disciplines, to beat many of her fellow age groupers from the previous week — finished in 2.35.35.

Liz did not fair as well this week, as she struggled on the run.

But nevertheless, she conquered her demons — suffering injury from a crash the previous time she attempted the course — finishiing in 3.05.39.

Liz is now preparing to take on the 2023 European Age group championships in both the standard and the sprint distance events in Madrid in just over a week's time.

Jan is also continuing with her training for her first half-Ironman distance event, at the PSUK Championships next month, before she heads to Guernsey in July as part of the Isle of Wight's Island Games triathlon team.

The World Sprint Triathlon Championships in Hamburg then follow for Jan.