Con Doherty won the first European title of his career as Ireland’s Junior athletes delighted the home crowd with three medals at the ETU Junior European Cup in Athlone.
Doherty, Christopher Mintern and Emma Sharkey each won a medal as Ditte Kristensen (DEN) took gold in the Junior Women’s race.
In the Junior Men’s race, Doherty pulled away on the run to secure victory in a time of 54:41, ahead of team-mate Christopher Mintern. It was Mintern’s first International career podium.
Behind the Irish duo, Emilie Blondel (FRA) and Anders Lund Hansen (DEN) were neck and neck and only a photo finish separated the two with Blondel taking the third podium spot.
In the Junior Women’s race, Ditte Kristensen secured her second career victory with a dominant performance.
Her blistering pace in the swim gave her an early advantage and she continued that pace to maintain her lead. She entered T2 with a comfortable lead and her victory was never in doubt.
Behind her, Sharkey and Kuriackova entered T2 together but Sharkey suffered a nasty fall which disrupted her transition.
This gave Kuriackova the advantage to press on for silver but to Sharkey’s credit she recovered well to finish in third place and seal the bronze medal.