BY STEFAN FROST
A South London girl finished ninth in the 2021 Inter Regional Championships for British Triathlon.
Marley Reeves, a student at Blackheath High School, placed fourth in her heat and qualified for the main final, crossing the finish line in the top 10.
After swimming 300 metres and completing a 1.2 kilometre run, Reeves is now ranked ninth in the Tristar 2 category for 11 to 12 year old British triathletes.
Reeves, who is trained by Bruno Mahsoudi at Greenwich Tritons, said: “The hardest bit of the race was the last 200 metres where I had to keep pushing with six or seven girls behind me. The best bit was crossing that finish line and then realising that I came in the top 10.
“Triathlon really challenges me and I like to work hard to improve all the time. It’s just so much fun.”
Reeves has always liked the variety of disciplines which a triathlon offers, but her motivation to compete came in the summer when she watched televised coverage of Team GB’s impressive Olympic performances. In Tokyo, British athletes picked up silver medals in both the men’s and the women’s triathlon, as well as a mixed relay gold.
Reeves took particular interest in fellow South London and Lewisham native Alex Yee, a gold and silver medallist who was coached by two of Reeves’ current mentors, prior to his induction into the British Olympic team.
“I am very lucky to belong to a great club where I have made lifelong friends,” Reeves said. “This race was a real opportunity for me to see the different levels of competitors across the UK and to see if my hard work had paid off.”
Her diligence and dedication has manifested itself in track success, impressing Carol Chandler-Thompson, the head teacher at Blackheath High School.
She said: “The whole school community is so proud of Marley. We value sport at Blackheath High School very highly and instil in the girls that whenever they set their minds to their goals and are driven by passion, they will accomplish great things. Marley’s achievement is a perfect example of this in action.”
Hannah Morrell, the director of sport at Blackheath High School, added: “Our goal is to empower our girls to break boundaries, doing away with stereotypes and blockers that can hold them back in sport. I’m extremely proud of Marley and her achievement. She has represented her sport and our school to the highest standard, and I know she will have inspired many other young girls to dream of sporting success.”
As triathlons continue to become more popular, with British Triathlon reporting a 200 per cent membership spike since 2009, Reeves and many other budding triathletes are daring to dream of a future in the Olympic arena.
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