First GB appearance for Moray youngster at European Triathlon Championships in Netherlands on Friday.
MORAY triathlete Sophia Green is ready for the biggest race of her life at this weekend’s Junior European Championships.
The 19-year-old’s dedication to training in her three-discipline sport has been rewarded with her first call-up to represent Great Britain at international level.
A year ago she was chosen as a Scotland triathlon reserve for the Commonwealth Games and travelled to Australia’s Gold Coast with the team, an experience she cherishes.
Read more: Commonwealth games thrill for Moray athlete
Sophia was not called into action Down Under but this week she travels to Weert in the Netherlands to compete against the cream of young European talent in her super-fit sport.
She was selected by the GB team after impressing in her first race of the season in the UK, a qualification event in Wales.
“I am so excited that I havequalified for the Junior European Championships,” she told the Northern Scot.
“After a tough winter of training it is refreshing to see that my hard work over the winter has paid off.
“This will be my first time in the GB tri suit which is very exciting, and I can’t wait to get out there and get racing against the best junior girls in Europe, put my best effort in and see where that takes me.”
A former pupil at Elgin Academy, Sophia’s first sporting love was swimming and she was a silver squad competitor for her country in junior competitions.
Also a very keen runner, she turned her attention to triathlon which combines her two favourite sports along with cycling.
She became a member at sporting clubs locally in all three pursuits and her talents were picked up by Triathlon Scotland’s foundation squad, before stepping up to their confirmation squad three years ago.
To help focus on her sporting dream, Sophia moved from Elgin Academy to anindependent school in Bridge of Allan, next to Stirling University, where triathlon’s Scottish governing body is based.
She became a Scottish junior champion at sprint distance and last year she moved up to the Scottish development squad.
Last season was particularly successful for the Moray triathlete as she made a major podium by finishing third at the Riga European Cup in Latvia.
Sophia also finished third at the British University Championships in duathlon, and also took bronze at the British Junior Championships.
“Going to Australia last year before my race season began definitely gave me the motivation to produce the results that I achieved in 2018.
She said: “I learned a lot from going to Australia and I definitely feel that it has allowed me to deal with nerves better in very competitive racing fields. “
Being able to use state-of-the-art facilities provided by Triathlon Scotland has helped Sophia to reach the levels required to compete at the highest level.
“Training has been going well in Stirling with the new set up to the performance centre.
“I am really enjoying training and racing at the moment and I can’t wait for the rest of the season to commence and the travelling across Europe that comes with that.”
Sophia will race in the sprint distance junior event in Holland on Friday, and if she impresses she will be in contention to compete again in the relay event, which takes place on Sunday.