It promises to be a thrilling showdown on the seafront in Roker as Britain’s best junior athletes go head-to-head at British Triathlon Super Series Grand Final Sunderland, with not only Super Series points on offer but also the honour of being crowned this year’s British elite junior champion.
The silver and bronze medallists from last year’s British Elite Junior Triathlon Championships will both be competing in the combined junior and senior race in Sunderland which will incorporate both the British Elite Junior Triathlon Championships and British Elite Triathlon Championships.
Lizzy Edge was second behind now senior athlete Daisy Davies at last year’s British Championships where Cook finished third as a youth athlete. With both Edge, who is the defending Junior Super Series champion and Cook, last year’s Youth B Super Series overall winner, competing in the junior series this year it’s made for another fascinating series.
The early season races were dominated by Cook and Edge with the latter beginning the 2022 Super Series with a win at the Performance Assessments before Cook reversed the order in Llanelli with victory in South Wales.
Since Llanelli in May, it’s been a busy period for Cook and Edge who both finished in the top-10 at the European Junior Championships, qualifying for the World Junior Championships in Montreal, where Cook finished ninth and Edge 19th, all whilst doing their exams.
Back to the Super Series and Cook made a winning return at Mallory Park last month to head to Sunderland with maximum points, while Edge is currently tied second overall, level on points with Issy Hayes, having missed the last race at Mallory Park.
It’s not just been about Edge and Cook with Hayes currently tied second after her aquathlon win at Bowood House and her second place finish last time out. Martha Calton-Seal is another athlete who represented Great Britain at the European and World Championships, and, although she wasn’t at Mallory Park, she’s still well-placed after starting the season with two top-three finishes.
Annabelle Wright has also got a win to her name in 2022, claiming maximum points in the aquathlon event at Lochore Meadows, and is currently fifth in the overall standings.
Overall top-three heading to Sunderland:
The additional points on offer in Sunderland (with an extra quarter awarded per finishing position), the Grand Final will likely be a key factor in deciding who is crowned the Junior Super Series champion at Eton Dorney next month.
With Struan Bennet and Ryan Symington tied at the top of the standings, the Sunderland results will almost certainly decide who is the outright leader heading to the final race at Eton Dorney, whether that’s Bennet, Symington or another junior athlete.
Injury and illness led to a disrupted start to the year for Bennet, who has claimed maximum points from the two events he has competed at in 2022, while Symington also has two wins in the series after victories at the Performance Assessments and Bowood House.
Joe Sherman is the closest challenger to the two current leaders in third and has already shown his winning ability this year with victory in Llanelli.
The winner and even podium places are tough to call with multiple athletes possessing the form, talent and ability to challenge at the head of the race in Sunderland including a number of athletes with experience of representing Great Britain internationally this year.
Sherman, world junior duathlon champion Ben Cumberland (10th overall) and Tom Hattee (11th) all competed at the World Junior Triathlon Championships in Montreal earlier this summer, while Solomon Okrafo-Smart (5th), Harry Butterworth (6th), Hugo Jinks (6th), Lawrence Martindale (8th), Michael Gar (12th), Callum Stedman (13th), Nathan Coy (14th) and Will Bloom (21st) have all competed at Europe Triathlon Junior Cup events.
Charlie Harding is also currently ranked in the top-10 and has also been guiding paratriathlete Oscar Kelly this year including at the Commonwealth Games and to silver medals at both the Montreal and Swansea World Triathlon Para Series events.
Overall top-three heading to Sunderland:
To find out more about British Triathlon Super Series Grand Final Sunderland, visit https://britishsuperseries.com/events/sunderland-grand-final/.
The full Super Series rankings can be viewed here.