?British athletes Elinor Thorogood and Andrew Hood are set to compete for Team GB at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games, in Singapore from 14 to 26 August.
A total of 64 athletes representing 42 nations, from five continents are set to compete. Among the nations competing, 12 countries have never participated in triathlon at the Olympic Games, demonstrating the growing diversity of our fast growing, dynamic and modern Olympic sport across the world.
The triathlon events at the Youth Olympic Games will be held in Singapore’s East Coast Park, the largest and most popular of Singapore’s public beaches. The women’s event will take place on the first day of the Games, at 9am local time on 15 August.
As the opening event of the games, the winner of the women’s contest will be awarded the first-ever Youth Olympic Games gold medal. The men’s race will take place on the following day, 16 August. Athletes competing in both the men’s and women’s races will complete a sprint distance triathlon (750-metre swim, 20K bike, 5K run).
Thorogood, who comes from Aberystwyth said: “The Youth Olympic Games is my big focus for this year. I’m really looking forward to the whole experience of being in Singapore for three weeks and being around athletes from other sports. I’ve been to international events in the past, but nothing of this scale. It’s going to be really exciting to be part of Team GB.”
Andrew Hood, the only Scot in a 39-strong British team, has his sights set on a top-10 finish in the race on Monday. "I’d love a top-10 finish, that would be pretty amazing. But it will definitely be a tough race and a lot of them are quick runners, so it’s going to be hard to get."
A big part of the experience for the young athletes is the chance to compete in a multi-sport event, and Andrew has certainly had his appetite whetted for the real thing. "I’m loving it," he said.
"I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s pretty amazing meeting all these new people and learning about other sports that I knew nothing about. It gives you a good idea what the real Olympics is all about."
The teenager followed in his father’s footsteps by taking up triathlon at the age of 12 having previously concentrated on swimming.
And he expects the first leg of Monday’s race to prove crucial to the outcome.
He added: "The swim is in the sea, and it’s been pretty choppy, so that’s going to be tough. But the bike and the run course is totally flat, which suits me."
Hood is hoping to make a leap forward of his own soon after securing his place at Stirling University, British Triathlon’s Satellite centre, for this autumn and the 18-year-old already has his sights set on representing his country again at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
He said: "That’s why I’ve chosen Stirling. Hopefully I should start to progress pretty well because I’ll be able to do more intensive training and there will be better coaching.
"I’m looking to build up to 2014 in Glasgow, that’s probably my long-term aim."