triathlonscotland has confirmed a squad of 28 triathletes on its national performance programme for the 2012 race season.
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Athletes include 2011 World U23 Triathlon Championship silver medallist David McNamee and veteran Commonwealth competitor Kerry Lang.
The three-tiered programme – split into podium, development and foundation – is designed to provide support to triathletes at every level, from those pushing for selection at the London 2012 Olympic Games to youth competitors showing promise.
Glasgow’s Marc Austin is one of seven selected development-level triathletes who are based at the national performance centre, on campus at the University of Stirling.
Austin, 17, was recently named Athlete of the Year, following an impressive season in which he earned his first Great Britain call-up and won gold medals at the European Youth Relay Championship and the European Junior Mixed Relay Championship.
He said: “I really didn’t expect to have the year I did and to go to the World Junior Championship was the icing on the cake. It feels a long time since I was invited onto the national squad four years ago and the support I have received has been brilliant.
“At Stirling we have a big group all training together every day. There is not a session where the same person is leading, and everyone is encouraging each other along. My long term aim is to be selected for Glasgow 2014 and hopefully another strong season in 2012 will keep me heading in the right direction.”
Austin is one of four athletes receiving additional support in 2012 through the British Triathlon programme, along with McNamee, Finlay Rae and Grant Sheldon.
All athletes on the podium and development squads receive dedicated sports science support from the sportscotland institute of sport, delivered primarily through the Central team and the area network.
With the 2012 race season starting in April, Foundation level athletes are already attending monthly training camps while warm weather training camps in Spain are scheduled for the development squad in December and again in January.
triathlonscotland National Performance Development Coach Chris Volley said: “There were a number of stand-out performances from Scottish triathletes this year and I am pleased we are again able to support such a great talent pool of Scottish triathletes in 2012. Our programme is geared to progressing people along the performance pathway; whether that means engraining in the younger competitors the skills and attitudes they need or assisting the top level competitors as they compete across the world.”