Matthew strikes gold
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
NOT too many people can claim to immediately make an impact in a sport they have just started, but 13-year-old Chanel College student Matthew Strike can.
Strike who only took up the sport of triathlon in December last year was a surprise winner of the Queensland Secondary Schools junior championship at Redcliffe.
In just his third ever triathlon, Strike completed the tough 450 metre swim, 12 kilometre bike and three kilometre run course in a time of 42 minutes, 37 seconds.
The gold medal win came as a big surprise to all including the modest Strike who is the first ever Capricornia secondary school triathlete to win at state level.
"It was a great feeling, I didn't think I could win and to come home first was just magic,'' Strike said.
"To win in just my third ever race was unbelievable and noone could believe it.''
"All the Capricornia team who were watching came up to me after I crossed the finish line and congratulated me which was great.''
Strike who has earned a big reputation in Gladstone as a fine swimmer and runner attributed his rapid rise to plenty of hard training on the bike.
"I think the reason I won was because of some tough work on my bike leg with my bike and running coach Mark Davis.
"I also worked on swimming with Caroline Hayes and that consistency I had in all three legs probably helped me win,'' he said.
Strike's win qualified him for April's nationals in Penrith and he knows there is still work to do to perform well.
"I want to do the best I can at the nationals and there is plenty of hard training I will have to get through before then, it should be good fun.