Bright Rose flourishes as Collins again aces triathlon

Samantha Rose, right, and second lady Gayle Vickers. Picture: David Brawn
Samantha Rose, right, and second lady Gayle Vickers. Picture: David Brawn
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Portsmouth delivered another sporting spectacle to be proud of as great crowds gathered on the seafront yesterday.

A mixture of experienced triathletes and newcomers to the sport descended on Southsea for the Portsmouth Try a Tri event.

Neil Collins (150650-04)

Neil Collins (150650-04)

The sprint triathlon – a 750m swim, 20k bike and 5k run – kicked the action off, with local triathletes Samantha Rose and Neil Collins producing superb home victories.

Other races taking place included the super sprint – a 400m swim, 10k bike ride and 2.5k run – ideal for competitors taking the chance to dip into the sport for the first time.

Junior Tristars races also took place throughout the early afternoon, while duathlons and team relays added to the spectacle.

Rose, who is from Portsmouth, was thrilled to win her home race.

I absolutely love Portsmouth. It is always going to be where my heart is and particularly with my family so close by

Samantha Rose

She said: ‘I really enjoyed it. For me, Portsmouth is home traditionally – even though I don’t live here at the moment because of work.

‘It’s a nice feeling to win. I absolutely love Portsmouth. It is always going to be where my heart is and particularly with my family so close by.

‘I went to Portsmouth High School from year seven to sixth form and I was with Portsmouth Northsea Swimming Club as well.

‘Then I went to university in Birmingham, where I live now.

Samantha Rose. Picture: Mick Young (150650-22)

Samantha Rose. Picture: Mick Young (150650-22)

‘I got into triathlon about three or four years ago and I’ve loved it ever since.

‘The swim was challenging because of the currents but it is my favourite part of every race.

‘Then the cycle was lovely and flat. There was a little bit of a headwind at points but you could really make the most of the tailwind as well so that was a real bonus. It was a fast course despite the hairpin bends.

‘Running is never my strong point but I just tried to keep my head down. It helped quite a lot that it was flat.

‘The out and back gives you a good measure of where you are within the race.’

Collins, from Southsea, will represent Great Britain in the European Championships next month and he was pleased to continue his fine summer form.

He said: ‘I always enjoy racing here in Portsmouth so was really looking forward to this event and am very pleased with my result.

‘It’s been a good boost going into my last training block before the European Champs on July 10.’

Conditions were good and everyone was cheered on by big crowds gathered around the transition point at Speaker’s Corner.

So many talented youngsters were in action and Rose, who was joined in the race by her sister Emily, believes it highlights the great work being done to get children involved in sport.

She added: ‘Having my sister Emily here with me really spurred me on.

‘It was her first triathlon and she had a fantastic result in her age group and overall.

‘I’ve never been to races where there have been so many younger people competing.

‘It’s great to get them involved in sport early.’

Don’t miss the Sports Mail on Saturday for more pictures and a full list of winners in each category.