Tornadoes swimmer wins World Biathle Championship

 

BUDMOUTH School student Freya Stanger came home from the World Biathle and Triathle Championships in St Petersburg Florida as the individual World Biathle Champion after competing for Great Britain in the U19 age group.

 

She also won another Gold in the Team event and a Silver in the mixed relay with her GB partner Ben Makin.

 

This capped a great year for Freya, aged 17, who in July this year became double European Champion, winning the gold individual and mixed relay Biathle titles at the European Championships in Madeira.

 

In addition, in March 2019 she won the National Schools Biathlon for her age group, held at the National Sports Stadium Crystal Palace.

 

Freya, who as a member of the Tornadoes of South Dorset Swimming Club based on Portland had been competing in swimming events since the age of nine and had reached Regional Championship standards, decided to try multi-discipline sports as part of the Modern Pentathlon three years ago.

 

In that time, she progressed to competing in the biathlon, becoming, county, regional and then national schools champion this year, before moving on to the compete in the more demanding biathle only two years ago The biathlon is a swim, followed after a break by a separate run for which you get points for each event based on the time you finish. The points are added together and the individual with the most points wins.

 

In contrast the Biathle is a continuous event starting with a run, a transition just like Triathlon into the swim and then transition back to a second run and the first to finish wins.

 

Freya, who qualified for the GB Team in 2018 on only her third ever Biathle, was originally selected for the European Championships in Weiden, Germany and was determined to improve on her performance this year.

 

She trains six days a week whilst studying for her GCSE’s and now A level exams and could not have achieved her success without the help she receives from her swim coaches at Tornadoes, especially Chris Beal who coached her for many years and her coaches Andy Whittall and Mick Flaherty at Leweston Pentathlon Academy, as well as Dorchester Athletics club running coach Nigel Furness.

 

As competing for GB is all self-funded, great help was provided to Freya and her family from the Ed Kent Trust who kindly sponsored her, paying for her flights and competition fees.

Her hard work however paid off as she became World Champion this weekend putting her ‘on top of the world’.

 

To read on Dorset Echo website click here.