Parry aiming for worlds after European success
Henry Parry has set his sights on the ITU Standard Distance Triathlon World Championship under-19s title after being crowned European king.
But the former South Downs College student has to come through a tough qualifier in the Arundel Triathlon on Sunday to secure his spot in Rotterdam in September.
Parry, 19, has only been competing in triathlon for two years but has quickly made his mark.
The Hayling Island ace was a former Havant & Waterlooville swimmer before switching to triathlon after his progress in the pool stalled.
And it has proved a shrewd move by Parry.
He is currently basking in glory after winning the ETU Triathlon European Championships under-19s title in Kitzbühel, Austria last month.
It was the first time the teenager was competing against such a calibre of opposition.
Although he admitted there were pre-race nerves, the young star thrived under pressure.
‘It was an amazing experience for me in Austria,’ Parry said.
‘Although it was daunting, it allowed me to focus on my own performance.
‘It was a bit of a surprise to make it to Austria and I just wanted to do my best.
‘I was shocked with how well I performed.
‘After qualifying for the final, I was quietly confident and just had to see what would happen.
‘Throughout the running leg I was overtaking people and it made me believe I could win the race.
‘My Great Britain team-mate James Odendaal was ahead after the first two legs but I managed to catch him.
‘In the qualifying race, he won it and I came third.
‘The form was reversed because of my strength in the run.
‘I didn’t expect this at all and especially this quickly – it has been a pleasant shock.’
Parry has put his significant progress down to the training he undertakes at the University of Bath.
The sports and exercise science undergraduate commits 20 hours per week alongside some of the country’s top triathletes, including Rio Olympics 2016 bronze medallist Vicky Holland.
Parry has to finish in the top three in the Arundel Triathlon to secure his spot in the under-19s world championships in Rotterdam. It will be tough but he is relishing the challenge.
Parry added: ‘It’s only my second year competing properly.
‘To compete on the world stage would be a fantastic opportunity.
‘I wouldn’t have improved like I have if it wasn’t for the coaching at university.
‘I’ve taken massive strides forward since I have been there.
‘It’s inspirational to watch how they train and it allows me to add things to my own routine.’