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Loughborough University

Beijing Olympics 2008

News from Beijing

27 May 2008

Duo make Olympic criteria in Madrid

Loughborough-based athletes Tim Don and Will Clarke have both achieved the Olympic Triathlon selection criteria with top six finishes at the Madrid BG Triathlon World Cup in Spain.

Don was just outside the medals with a fourth-placed finish while British team mate Clarke was close behind in sixth. Both kept with the leading pack on the cycle leg in monsoon conditions to finish within the top eight as required by the British Triathlon Olympic Selection Criteria.

“The race was pretty crazy when the rain came pelting down; it was like being up Ben Nevis,” said Don. “My win at the Corus Elite Series race in Reading last weekend gave me a great platform to work off today and I felt good when I hit the run and just battled through as best I could. To come down the finish straight in fourth was a huge relief.”

Clarke, who had already met one of the four selection criteria going into the meet with a top eight finish at the 2007 Beijing BG Triathlon World Cup, was delighted to be within the qualification requirements again in Spain.

“I was just so relieved to cross the line in sixth and meet the selection criteria,” he said. “This race had been on my mind since the start of the year so it’s a great feeling to have given everything and to have got the result I wanted.”

Both men must now wait for the British Olympic Association to accept their nominations to guarantee their place on Team GB.

Earlier in the day Loughborough-bound Hollie Avil finished fourth in the women’s event to also meet the British Triathlon Olympic Games Selection Criteria. The 18-year-old lodged herself into the front four on the bike stage alongside team mate Helen Tucker and World Champion Vanessa Fernandes and stayed out in front in only her third world cup race.

“Helen [Tucker] and I just held it together on the bike with [Vanessa] Fernandes and we did it the hard way,” she said. “I’ve made the Olympic selection criteria so we’ll wait to see when they announce the team but I fully expect to be on that pontoon in Beijing.”

Loughborough graduate Jodie Swallow was third out of the water but fell off the pace on the bike to finish 18th overall and in the men’s event Loughborough-based Stuart Hayes was forced out of the race after two successive punctures.

Loughborough University - Beijing 2008

Beijing facts

There are 55 Loughborough athletes in action at the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Did you know?

Former Olympic Champion Sebastian Coe is a Loughborough graduate.

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