Meet the Hartlepool woman who finished fifth in the world - just months after taking up her sport!

Amazing athlete Sue Watson is among the world’s elite - and that’s official.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 06:00 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 07:56 am
Sue Watson celebrates her world fifth placing.

The 65-year-old from Greatham represented Great Britain at duathlon for the very first time - and came fifth in the world!

All this comes just months after another great success for Sue, who was the Role Model of the Year at the Best of Hartlepool Awards last November.

Sue in action in her first world duathlon.

And she has achieved all this only 18 months after she first began dabbling with the sport of duathlon.

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It has been an incredible journey for Sue, who competed in the ITU World Championship sprint duathlon in Pontevedra in Spain over the weekend.

The event involved a 5k run, 20k bike ride and 2.5k run. Sue did it all in one hour, 37 minutes and 20 seconds.

The retired teacher said: “I’m so elated and excited. I have met some wonderful people from all over the world - Australians, Americans, Japanese, Kenyans. The list is endless.

Sue Watson receives her Role Model of the Year trophy at the 2018 Best of Hartlepool Awards.

“I came 5th in my age group of 65 to 69, so I’m 5th in the world in my age group and 2nd in GB.”

She described the last 18 months as “an amazing journey”.

“After all the training and soul searching to stand on the start line in all my GBR kit as a representative of my country was indescribable.

“At the start, all the hard work was rewarded with a performance I have to say went as plan with a 5k run through the old town of Pontevedra, a great 20k bike ride and finally a slow but steady 2.5k, finishing with a sprint finish to beat an American lady by .05sec.”

Sue only began dabbling at the sport in October 2017.

She went with a friend to have a go at training with the town-based Tri Life organisation because her first idea - to have a go at open water swimming - didn’t work out.

She has never looked back, and admitted: “Retirement is not as easy as it sounds and you can really lose yourself if you are not careful.

“But the people at Tri Life were so keen to help me and get me drawn in to what they were doing.

Tri Life founder Matt Turnbull said: “As her coach and friend I am overwhelmingly proud of her journey this year and astounded by her strength and determination. She is a true Hartlepool role model.”