Souped-up Campbell is too hot to handle

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Portsmouth Triathletes’ Pete Campbell claimed the narrowest of victories at the inaugural Wiggle Portsmouth Triathlon.

And organisers have backed the event to become one of the biggest on the sports calendar after a hugely-successful debut year.

WATER BOYS Competitors get the Wiggle Portsmouth Triathlon under way as they make their way into the Solent on stage one on Sunday morning. Picture: Paul Jacobs (132299-1)

WATER BOYS Competitors get the Wiggle Portsmouth Triathlon under way as they make their way into the Solent on stage one on Sunday morning. Picture: Paul Jacobs (132299-1)

Around 700 entries were received for the race, with perfect weather greeting those who descended on Southsea on Sunday.

And it was a local face who was cheered on to victory around the picturesque route as Campbell claimed the win.

Campbell continued his excellent form after a fine showing at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in London by emerging victorious.

But he did that by the narrowest of margins, after registering a time of 2hr 00min 08.1sec to edge out Charles Pennington (2.00.08.9).

Campbell’s superior transition times made all the difference to his triumph.

He clocked a 1,500m swim time of 23.13.8 before completing a 40km cycle in 59.35.7 and 10km in 34.44.8.

Transitions of 1.58.1 and 35.8 proved key, with Pennington registering times of 25.45.8 (swim), 58.33.6 (bike), 32.53.4 (run) and transitions of 2.15.4 and 40.6.

There was more local joy as Campbell’s Portsmouth Triathlete team-mate Colin Dixon finished third (2.01.52.6).

The local success stories continued as Portsmouth’s Rachel Clay took victory in the woman’s race.

The ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships bronze medallist was a clear victor with a time of (2.27.21.8) fending off Rebecca Hughes (2.29.57.6).

The sprint competition proved an intriguing parallel to the longer Olympic event in the triathlon.

Being held over distances of 750m (swim), 20km (cycle) and 5km (run), Neil Collins (1.09.46.9) ran out the clear victor in front of Ian Hughes (1.10.35.5).

Gayle Vickers was dominant among the women as she clocked a time of 1.16.18.8, with Laura Fenwick the second female across the line (1.16.58.7).

Tania Almond, Portsmouth City Council’s triathlon development officer, lauded the event’s success and believes big things could lie ahead for it moving forward.

Almond said: ‘We want to become one of the biggest triathlons in the United Kingdom and we’re delighted with the early signs.

‘Athletes flew in from Belgium, Italy and France to take part.

‘We’ve had a lot of support from so many different groups and support from local residences.

‘People will hopefully look at the times and see the course is suited to people running personal bests.

‘But there are areas to improve and we can hopefully make the race quicker next year.

It’s a fabulous start for us and we’re delighted with the feedback.’