Triathlete Bloom set for World Sprint Championships

Buckhurst Hill triathlete Claire Bloom finished third in the World Sprint Championship Beijing Qualifier at Dorney Lake, Eton on Sunday, gaining an automatic place into the Great Britain 45-49 age group team.

The 47-year-old, studio manager at David Lloyd Health and Fitness Club, Chigwell, took up sprint triathlon 18 months ago and completed her first full season last year.

Bloom, a former footballer with West Ham and Leyton Orient, competes alongside her husband Ray and admits she can’t believe how far they have progressed.

“About 18 months ago my husband said I wasn’t a good swimmer, which was motivation enough for me to start, but I can’t believe how far I’ve gone with it,” she said.

“I think being able to do it alongside Ray probably helps both of us. We’ve had weekends away to do triathlons and it is nice to be able to compete together.”

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Having won the Reading Triathlon in September 2010 and the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon in March for her age group, Bloom will aim to build on her success at the World Age Group Sprint Triathlon Championships in Beijing in September.

This weekend she travels to the Speedy Beaver in Nottingham with the hope of gaining automatic entry into the team for the European Championships, which will be held in Eilat, Israel next April and is determined for her whirlwind journey to continue.

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“We’ve already been to Abu Dhabi this year, where part of the course takes in the Formula 1 circuit and I’m now going to go to Beijing later in the year and hopefully Israel next year,” she said.

“It feels like a different person when I’m talking about it, it’s unbelievable really.”

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