Teenage triathlete Marc Austin continued his impressive rise through the ranks with a bronze medal at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival (AYOF).
The 18-year-old University of Stirling Mathematics student coped admirably with scorching conditions in Sydney to claim third spot behind home nation talent Jacob Birtwhistle and Luke Willian.
Temperatures soared to a record 45.8 degrees as Austin, from Scotstoun, completed the sprint distance 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run in 55 minutes and 33 seconds, 30 seconds shy of the gold and just 13 behind Willian.
He said: “I’m really happy with third place, especially as the event falls right in the middle of a block of winter training. It was incredibly hot so I had to stay hydrated as best I could and put everything into the race. It’s a result which will give me a lot of confidence heading into the season proper.”
Austin has represented Great Britain at the last two European and World Junior Triathlon Championships and the Glaswegian will be targeting strong displays with the first phase of the selection period to be considered for Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014 starting in April.
He receives support from Winning Students, Scotland’s national sports scholarship programme and from the University’s sports scholarship programme. Austin trains with the triathlonscotland development squad at the national performance centre, based at the University campus.
His coach Blair Cartmell said: “This is an absolutely fantastic result for Marc, to compete the way he did during his off-season is a testament to his current ability and hints at his potential. The confidence this will give him for this season will be invaluable and I feel this will really show at the World Junior Championships in London in September.”
Triathlon continues tomorrow (Saturday) with the teams relay mixed event and Austin is one of five athletes supported by Winning Students competing for Team GB at the prestigious AYOF.