JENNY MANNERS will pull on a Team GB vest for the first time as an individual triathlete at the World University Games in Brazil next month.
The Cirencester 23-year-old is one of just seven to be selected for the prestigious event to be held in the capital, Brazilia.
The call-up is reward for a string of solid efforts in 2013 – she had a best-ever second place finish in the British Triathlon Super Series – and a solid winter of training and competition.
Only last Saturday in Oxford, she won a silver medal at the British Universities and Colleges Biathlon Championships while helping Loughborough to a team silver behind their great rivals Leeds.
Manners proved that her speed work is going well as the Oxford Biathlon in which she was beaten by Hannah Drewett of Leeds was a 200m swim and a 1500m run.
But she will need the strength built up over a successful winter cross country season in Brazilia as the competition is over the Olympic distance – 1.5km (0.93m) swim, 40 km (25m) bike, 10 km (6.2m) run.
Jenny was given a huge boost recently when getting the better of her Cirencester AC clubmate and former GB international athlete Wendy Nicholls for the first time in the final of the Oxford League Cross Country series.
“To beat Wendy was great and she was very good about it,” said Jenny. “After I overtook her and chased the second girl she was shouting at me to go past!
“My two winter training camps in Lanzarote have gone well and I have been free from any problems and injuries.
“I can’t wait to compete in Brazilia which will be my first triathlon of the season.”
Jenny is perhaps even better known as a guide to visually impaired triathletes and has enjoyed phenomenal success with Charlotte Ellis in paratri events, winning the world title in Beijing (2011) and back-to-back golds in the European championships in Pontevedra (2011) and Eliat (2012).
Charlotte has now stepped back from the sport to concentrate on running but Jenny has already found an able replacement in Alison Patrick – and was able to have plenty of input in the selection process.
“Alison has a running background and came along to the talent spotting weekends held at Loughborough by British Triathlon. The sport was new to her but I would say she was the pick of the new recruits and she is already showing the potential to compete in the world championships this year.”
Jenny also breaks new ground in 2014 as she will be racing for the Issy Triathlon team which competes in Division One of the French Triathlon Series. She and Katie Hewison are the only two Brits on the 22-strong squad. The famous Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonathan, have been part of the winning team in the equivalent men’s series in France in the past.