Gold for Luke Chapman in World Biathle Championships 2011

It is every athletes dream to compete in a World Championships in their chosen sport. This recently came true for 3 athletes from Kingston swimming club who made their way to Sofia in Bulgaria for the 13th annual World Biathle Championships. Biathle sees competitors run, swim and then run again consecutively with a transition between each discipline as you are not allowed to swim with your shoes on.They arrived on the 21st September to torrential rain but on competition day temperature rose close to 30 degrees. They competed in a great outside Olympic pool and was also invited by the British Embassy to the Radisson.

It is a dream come true. This may be my only chance to compete for Great Britain and I came back with Gold. I owe alot to Mike and Paul, my swim coaches who helped me a lot since i joined in January. They treat you equal and i thoroughly enjoyed learning within their group.

Luke Chapman competed in Salford Manchester National finals in six place narrowly qualifying for the great Britain squad .His event competing over the distance of 500m run, 50m swim and then final 500m run in the Boys under 13s age group in his 1st World Championships. In a big field of 23 athletes, Luke set off from the start in 12th position keeping just at the back of the leading pack , coming in to the pool he had made up one position to 11th ,he then had a great swim moving up the ranks to 10th position , the final hurdle was another 500 metre run of which strong competition was breathing down his neck but he managed to distance his self form the pack behind him to finish in overall 10th position in a time of 4.42.Luke had not been below 5 minutes all season and had moved up in the rankings from six in the Gb squad to third on the day . Luke also helped Great Britain to take the team Gold Medals in this race which is calculated by the first three from each country of combined times .Luke said after the race “It is a dream come true. This may be my only chance to compete for Great Britain and I came back with Gold. I owe alot to Mike and Paul, my swim coaches who helped me a lot since i joined in January. They treat you equal and i thoroughly enjoyed learning within their group “. Luke often lives in Jessica’s shadow but equalled her achievement of Team Gold in Dubai last year.

Luke’s older sister Jess Chapman competed in the Girls under 15s age group. Jess, taking part in her 2nd World Championships, competed over the slightly longer distance of 500m, 100m, 500m in a field of 24 athletes, which was the highest number of athlete in one race in Bulgaria. Despite the big turn out of athletes and being in the bottom of her age group this year, she still finished in a superb 12th position in a time of 5.19 in a race dominated by British Athletes. Jess was the 7th British athlete home in this race.

Natasha Bellamy competed in the Girls under 17s age group and again another local athlete making her debut at the World Championships this year. Natasha competed over the distance of 1000m, 200m and 1000m in another strong field. Natasha went out steady and stayed in 8th place through the opening run and also the swim but lost 3 places on the final run, finishing in 11th position in a time of 10.41.