International AG Report: Aquathlon European Championships.

reland recently brought home a bronze medal at the European Aquathlon Championships in Bratislava, thanks to a great performance by Neil Cooper in the 55-59 Age Group. Neil also wrote this superb race report detailing the exploits of the team. If you would like to represent Ireland at amateur level there's more info on the Age Group Selection section of our website.

Neil-Cooper-Podium-Euro-Aquathlon-Age-Group-Champs-2017

ETU Aquathlon European Championships.

Ireland was represented by a small but enthusiastic team at the European Aquathlon Championships in Bratislava last weekend.  The race consisted of a 1 K swim, with an ‘Australian Exit’ at halfway, and 5 x 1 K laps to make up a 5 K run.  

In the Junior Men’s category Jack McCullough put in a solid performance and with two more years in the same category he is set to make a big impact in the future.  In the Men’s 30-34 category John Cunningham also performed well, despite having to serve a time penalty on the run.  

Neil Cooper was competing in the 55-59 age group, and having won this category in 2015 in Cologne and 2016 in Chateauroux, he was hopeful of at least getting on the podium in Bratislava.  Neil reported that the first turn on the swim course was as frantic as ‘could be’ and he feared a DQ after taking a ‘long cut’ underneath the buoy instead of around it.  He also said the Australian Exit, on stones and gravel, added a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ (French for sore feet, apparently). 

Neil was a close second out of transition and took the lead on the first lap.  By the half way point though he was passed by Yaron Cohen from Israel and Matthew Stone from GB, but he held on for Bronze, finishing 20 seconds behind the winner.   

In the evening the Pros showed everyone how it should be done with Hannah Kitchen winning the Women’s event and Richard Varga winning the Men’s event in some style.  As a Slovak, Richard’s win was particularly well supported, but it must be said there was great crowd support all day.  

John Running

The next European Aquathlon Championship will be part of the 2018 Ibiza ETU Multisport European Championships (October 2018).  Similar to the Worlds in Penticton this year, as well as Aquathlon, the Ibiza event is set to include the ETU Half Distance Championship, Cross Triathlon, Duathlon, Cross Duathlon, and an Aquabike test event. 

It would be good to see a much larger Irish team compete in Ibiza.  “Swim, Run, Foam Party, Repeat” as Neil was heard to say well into the night in Bratislava.