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A Leicestershire duathlete is celebrating, after achieving a podium position in this years’ European championships, which were held in Spain.

Joanne Matthews, was “over the moon” to achieve a bronze medal in the European Sprint Duathlon Championships (50-54 category), a race which was held in Bilbao Spain on Saturday (September 17).

The three-part long distance race, required competitors to complete a 5k running leg, followed by a 20k cycling leg and then a 2.5 km run.

Joanne, from Whitwick, completed the first 5k run in a time of 20 minutes 49 seconds, the 20k cycle in 40 minutes 8 seconds and the final 2.5k run in a time of 11 minutes 25 seconds.

Picture: Jo Matthews

She said that she was “over the moon” to secure a bronze medal at the event, despite being only seven seconds away from silver and 42 seconds from gold on the day.

“I’m surprised to get a bronze medal, as it was such a stella field of athletes,” she said.

“A large, very talented field of athletes lined up for what has been the closest, gutsiest race of my life so far.

“The bike course was a tough course with a mile to settle and then near on five miles of which was over 950ft climb during which I closed the gap and took first position,” she went on to reveal.

“I felt first all the way through the bike course into T2 with only 4 seconds between us for a time of 40.08.

“Out of T2 and onto the 2nd run, again along the river bank, T2 wasn’t as fast as I’d liked and I entered the 2nd run in 2nd position. Held 2nd position with a time of 11.25 only to be pipped to the line in the last 100m.

“To say I’m over the moon with my 1st season with Team GBR is an understatement and I’m so much looking forward to seeing my team members in the 2023 World Championships in Ibiza next year after my winter building block,” she added.

Back in June, Jo came fourth in the World Triathlon Duathlon Championships, which were held in Targu Mures, Romania.

Wearing a GB vest is something which made her “very proud,” she said, adding: “I never thought I’d ever wear anything that represented GBR!”