Tate. 70 last January, came top in his age group – 70-74 years. The world championships finals hosted more than 3,500 athletes competing in various age group categories from over 80 different countries.
Tate’s achievement is made all the more remarkable given he had been out of the triathlon sport for 20 years, but decided to start training again less than a year ago, with the target of gaining qualification into the Great Britain Age Group Team for Rotterdam.
Despite a number of injuries and hold-ups, he earlier this year won an Aquathlon (swim/Run) National Age Group title in Leeds, and then followed up with a category win in the World Triathlon qualifying race held in Redcar, where he finished 11 minutes clear of his nearest rivals.
“I had previously qualified and competed at several world age group triathlon championships in the dim and distant past, but events such as bike accident, punctures, or just things just not coming together on the day led me to believe that a podium place was always going to elude me,” he said. “So to come back after such a long break from the sport and gain the gold medal gives me a tremendous sense of relief, satisfaction and a renewed desire to compete again next year.”
Following a spell of bad weather the race day conditions in Rotterdam were dry and sunny, although the water temperature in the dock where the swim was held had dropped to a cool 16 degrees.
In the swim leg Tate got off to a brilliant start, coming out of the water in first place in his category within a wave of 110 triathletes. He has often been slow in transitions but on this occasion he was quickest out onto the extremely technical 20km bike course where, working with other groups on the bike, he maintained a commanding position throughout.
The second transition onto the 5km run was equally swift, giving him a good position, and despite having lost an odd place on the bike Tate still went into the run section in second place. He then produced the fastest run in his category, enabling him to overhaul his nearest rival in the last kilometre to win a World Championship Age Group Gold medal.
The win will pre-qualify Tate for next year’s European and World Championships in 2018.
Tate has already won national age group titles and European bronze medals when he last competed in Olympic distance Triathlons 20 years ago.
The Beccles Triathlon Club is a relatively young club, with a fast growing membership. If you are interested as a newcomer or seasoned triathlete and would like to join a small friendly club please go to firstname.lastname@example.org.