Sports

Estelle set for Euros

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Estelle set for Euros thumbnailArmagh native Estelle Johnston who is set to compete at the European Triathlon Championships in Denmark.

ARMAGH athlete Estelle Johnston is set to compete in the 2017 Herning European Triathlon Middle Distance Championships this weekend in Denmark.

Estelle will travel to Denmark this weekend hoping to continue her meteoric rise in the sport.

The Armagh Pikekickers member completed his first sprint triathlon with her friend Roseann Spence and Michael Curran and she admitted that she didn't think her love for the sport would blossom from there.

"That was my first event and the following season we decided to go on and do a few more and to be honest from there we didn't look back.

"It is like an addiction - once you complete a certain distance you want to challenge yourself further by completing a longer distance, so the three of us started doing Olympic triathlon events.

"That is a 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and a 10km run to finish.

"Our 'three musketeers' soon became two as Roseann decided to have a child!"

Estelle completed a lot of her early training with the Armagh Pikekickers under coach Shannon Connolly and admitted that she was given a perfect platform to start from.

"Training with Shannon gave me confidence to progress through the distances and I competed in the Triathlon Ireland Vodafone National Series.

"After that I was selected to represent Ireland in the 2016 European Championships in Portugal over the Olympic distance.

"I went over to Portugal and it was a real learning curve, but I finished 14th in my age group in Europe."

Since then Estelle has continued to test herself and challenge herself over longer distances.

"It has been a bit of a natural evolution to the longer distances and last year I competed in one of the toughest Half-Ironman triathlon events in Ireland called 'The Lost Sheep'.

"I finished first in my age group and that allowed me to qualify for the Irish team to compete in Herning this weekend."

Estelle is heavily backed my Cycleology on College Street and she paid tribute to them and said they have always been there for her from everything from clothing, equipment and advice on nutrition.

Johnston's preparations for Denmark suffered a major blow a few weeks ago when she had an accident on her bike, but said she is determined to go through the pain barrier this weekend.

"A couple of weeks ago I fell off my bike in training and I fractured my hand, which put me out of training, but I wasn't giving up that easily.

"With the European Championships coming up I competed in a Half Ironman event at Cultra on May 27 and I finished 7th best female overall with a time of 5 hours and 37 minutes.

"Make no doubt about it I am going to go and give the European Championships a real go, even with my injury hanging over me."

Estelle doesn't have any plans to put her feet up and rest, after the European Championships in Denmark she is heading to Barcelona to compete in the Ultimate Triathlon challenge, where she will swim 3.8km, cycle for 180km and a 42.km run with ten other members of the Armagh Pikekickers.

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