TRIATHLETE Luke Harvey has been ranked his age group’s world number one following his ITU World Triathlon Grand Finals win at Rotterdam.
The 17-year-old, who competed against 76 other teenagers aged up to 19, crossed the finish line in 01:02:42 last month – 0.05 seconds faster than runner-up Great Britain’s Rueben Trotter.
The time included a 750 metre swim, 20-kilometere bike ride and 5-kilometre run.
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Luke, who attends Victoria Point State High School, said he was elated with the unexpected result, which capped both lows and highs earlier this year.
“Before racing (at Rotterdam) I was not nervous as I was not expecting a great result,” he said.
“My last couple of races have been quite disappointing, so I was just out there to take in the experience.”
While cramps and vomiting led to a bad result at the Australian Schools Sport Triathlon in April, Luke recouped the following day to help secure gold for his relay team and an overall victory for Queensland.
The turn-around was repeated at Rotterdam – despite reduced training hours due to illness, year 12 study commitments and European sightseeing activities in the week before, Luke won.
“I would normally do roughly 24-hours training across all three disciplines, but this was reduced to about eight hours per week for the last month or so,” he said.
“In race week I didn’t do very much training and found it hard to find a pool.”
While Luke has enjoyed his world age group champion status, he said he relished the achievement more because of the circumstances it was gained.
“My biggest achievement was not just becoming world age group champion, but to do it whilst completing year 12 and still having another two years in the 16 to 19 age group category,” he said.
Luke, who trains with clubs including Sharks Triathlon, Wynnum Redlands Cycle and Redlands Swim, said he hoped to become an elite athlete after he left school and would contest the Australian Junior Triathlon Series in the coming months.
He has also been selected for the Queensland Triathlon Talent Squad for the third consecutive year.
Sharks Triathlon Club president Ian Buck-Barrett said he was delighted with Luke’s victory at Rotterdam.
“The success reflects some real dedication,” he said.
Mr Buck-Barrett said club member Linda Meredith’s performance at Rotterdam was also cause for celebration.
Ms Meredith, a nurse at Redland Hospital, was placed fourth in event’s 60 to 65 age category.
“All the members of the Sharks Triathlon Club over immensely proud of their performances at the world championships,” Mr Buck-Barrett said.
For more information about Luke Harvey, visit his webpage thelukeharvey.com.