Guernsey Press

Chapple did not expect a Spanish exhibition

THE scale of Megan Chapple’s age-group victory at last weekend’s Europe Triathlon Championships came as a ‘real surprise’ to her.

Guernsey triathletes at the 2023 Europe Triathlon Championships in Madrid. Left to right: Chris Norman, Ove Svejstrup, Chloe Truffitt, Megan Chapple and Dave Mosley. (Picture supplied by Guernsey Triathlon, 32181317)

In a golden opener to her 2023 ‘tri’ season, she not only won the 25-29 category by over 7min., but was the fastest woman overall at the age-group Olympic distance competition in Madrid, where the true elites competed in a separate race.

But it was not the swim-bike-run affair she and the four other Guernsey competitors had envisaged – instead only the second two disciplines were involved.

Adverse water conditions led to the swim being struck off and replaced by a 5.5km run, which preceded a bike leg of some 37km and a longer 11km run.

That freed Chapple to use her run and bike prowess to post the quickest time of her age group on all three legs, clocking 2hrs 15min. 55sec. for a hefty victory margin.

‘As it was the first race of the season I wasn’t sure how things would go, so to win by 7min. was a real surprise,’ she said.

‘I was disappointed it was changed to a duathlon, but everyone had to adapt.’

The triumph sets her up nicely for the Guernsey 2023 NatWest International Island Games, where she looks to back up – or improve – her Olympic-distance silver from 2019, has the potential for a triathlon relay outing, and also goes in the 5,000m track race.

‘I’m getting excited for the Games,’ she added.

‘I’ve just been confirmed for the 5k too, which is exciting.’

Fellow Great Britain competitors Hannah Wardley and Francesca April Ryde completed the age 25-29 podium, but the latter had to hold off another Sarnian in Chloe Truffitt.

The Island Games triathlete lost time to Ryde’s excellent cycle but closed the gap significantly on the final run, eventually placing fourth in 2-27-04.

Three male competitors also took part ahead of their own Games outings.

Ahead of his Games debut, Chris Norman cracked the top five of the 30-34 men’s age group with a sub-2hr 10min. time.

Dave Mosley surpassed his close domestic rival’s performance by a matter of seconds in clocking 2-09-25, which put him sixth in the 35-39s.

Veteran Ove Svejstrup placed 12th in a strong 45-49 category headed by a commanding sub-2hr. performance from British star Donald Brooks, who is a four-time world champion in his age group.