TRIATHLON: Matt Bailey, 19, wins Chirk Triathlon

Matt Bailey (centre) on the podium after winning the Chirk Triathlon
Matt Bailey (centre) on the podium after winning the Chirk Triathlon

Shawell athlete's ambition now is for professional license

Outstanding athlete Matt Bailey won the Chirk Triathlon, leading home over 400 competitors to finish fastest overall - a fantastic achivement by the 19-year-old.

Matt Bailey led home the 400+ field at the event near Wrexham

Matt Bailey led home the 400+ field at the event near Wrexham

Competing in the 20-29 age group Matt, from Shawell, clocked 46 minutes eight seconds for the event near Wrexham on April 28.

Matt, who is sponsored by ITP Group Limited in Clifton Road, has been competing since he was 14 and is now moving up to longer distance triathlons and aiming for a professional licence.

At the Vitruvian Half Iron Man distance last year, he clocked just over four hours for seventh place overall and first in his age group.

He explained: “I started out as a swimmer at the age of ten. I really didn’t have any natural ability whatsoever, so much so that in my first swim gala I got disqualified in every race! But I didn’t give up.

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“Aged 14 I did my first triathlon, and in that first year I won three out of the five youth races I entered. From then on I started to take it more seriously.

“I tried out for the East Midlands academy and was selected, then I started to race in the British Youth Elite Series,” said Matt, who will start a Sports Science degree at university in Chester in September.

“After realising that the draft legal format wasn’t really suited to my strengths I decided to focus on non-drafting racing and eventually when I was old enough, half ironman and full ironman. So I left the academy and decided to pursue non-draft racing.

“A few years later aged 18 I raced in the English Middle Distance Championship (the Vitruvian) and did 4:01, came seventh overall and won the Under 20s.

Matt is sponsored by ITP Group based in Clifton Road, Rugby

Matt is sponsored by ITP Group based in Clifton Road, Rugby

“My main goal in the future is to try to get my pro license.”