Young Suffolk athlete Elliot Gladwell wins three World Championship gold medals
- Credit: Archant
A talented young Suffolk athlete has returned from Spain with three World Championship gold medals.
Elliot Gladwell, a pupil at Ipswich School, pulled on a Team GB vest after winning the national trials to compete at the Biathle-Triathle World Championships in Viveiro.
Biathle events are a sub sport of the modern pentathlon and consist of a continuous run-swim–run, which in Elliot’s case was 400m–50m 400m.
And he surged to victory in the under 13 individual category, as well as claiming golds in the team and mixed relay.
Remarkably, the 12-year-old, who lives in Hadleigh, only competed in his first multi-discipline events last year, taking on a biathlon and a triathlon.
And he then won the under 13 category at the British Triathlon Inter Regional Championship at Mallory Park in Leicestershire this summer.
Proud dad Simon said: “He started with a biathlon last year where he won the national championship for his age group and we realised we had a talented little boy on our hands.
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“Elliot has always been an A-team player in school sports but he’s really found his niche at the moment.”
Of the trio of gold medals in Spain, where Elliot was cheered on by mum Valerie, Mr Gladwell added: “He’s had a remarkable season this year.
“What he did in Spain was brilliant. He took it very well – I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet just what he has achieved!”
Now back in the UK, Elliot is training four times a week with the Hadleigh Dolphins Swimming Club and twice with the Ipswich Harriers Athletics Club.
As an athlete this season, he has the fourth fastest time in the UK for 800 metres and ninth fastest for 1500m in his under 13 age group.
But despite his immense talent, the youngster – who one day dreams of competing in the Olympics – isn’t getting carried away with lofty ambitions.
“Triathlon is his love, that’s his first sport,” said Mr Gladwell, who praised Ipswich School teacher Kevin Goldsmith for igniting Elliot’s interest in the sport.
“At the moment he just wants to go up through the age groups and keep getting recognised.”