We have a new World Champion in Sussex.
Brighton & Hove’s Emma Dixon, who was runner up in the Sussex senior cross-country championship in January has won the World Junior (20-24 age group) Sprint Triathlon Championship in Rotterdam.
Dixon is currently studying to become a Vet at Royal Veterinary College in London only started Triathlons last year and has made remarkable progress qualifying for the World Championship in May when she was the first British finisher in the “Qualifying” “Sprint” (750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run) event and she has also won the British “Standard” (1.5k swim, 40km Bike and 10km run) age group title in Leeds in the summer where the Brownlee brothers had to qualify for their event.
In the Rotterdam ITU Sprint Distance Age Group World Championship she had no idea that she had won the title until she heard the announcement at the end of the race as there were several groups races held at the same time.
This was a reward for persistence for the twenty two year old who has been running with the Brighton & Hove club since she was twelve. Dixon had suffered with knee problems for a couple of years that reduced her running training and it was then that she turned to swimming with the Brighton Swimming Club, to keep fit, but when she returned to middle distance racing she was a much stronger athlete. Twice she was a member of the Sussex Schools team that won the English Schools Cross Country title.
In Rotterdam Dixon was lying twelfth after the swim but had climbed to fifth after the bike ride. The 5k was her real strength and she crossed the finishing line in 71:38s which was nearly one minute clear of the second placed athlete, fellow Brit Fiona Gibson, having clocked 17:52 for her run.
“I had to race back home after the race as term started the following day and I have an important exam in December. This is likely to curtail the time I can devote to training and I’ll have to see whether I will get in any cross-country racing before Christmas at least.” “I have not been able to plan my winter year but I do want to fit in some racing before the season is out”.