Con in the pack.
Con Doherty of the Triathlon Ireland Junior Squad made his presence felt at the ITU Junior European Cup in Quarteira, Portugal securing qualification for the European Championships with a 10th place finish.
A strong field of 68 athletes took to the start line in the junior men’s race including Ireland’s Con Doherty and Aaron O’Brien. Both juniors swam well with O’Brien just 14 seconds off the leaders and Doherty a further 23 seconds back.
A quick transition from swim to bike had both athletes in the large chase pack seconds behind a small breakaway group. By the 2nd lap Doherty and O’Brien had caught the leaders forming a group of over 30 athletes.
Entering T2 Doherty was among the top 10 and held his position after a smooth transition onto the 5 kilometer run. Doherty, one of the youngest athletes in the field and with 3 more years as a junior showed an incredible turn of speed to cover the run in 15:56 and grab a top 10 finish in his first European Cup of the season.
O’Brien faded somewhat on the run to finish 43rd. Triathlon Ireland Junior Coach Elena Maslova was pleased with the performances. “All the athletes preformed really well against a top quality field and I’m delighted that Con has secured qualification for the European Championships after his top 10 finish.”
Ireland also has a representative in the junior women’s race where Emma Sharkey placed 26th.
Triathlon Ireland’s High Performance Director Chris Jones commented. “The results from this weekend’s European Cup show the quality of athletes we have coming through the system. We already have a 7 strong Junior Squad who regularly achieve top 10 results in big international races and we will be running a further Talent Identification Day on the 6th of May to identify and develop more young athletes who can race at this level.”