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Brilliant Brinkley

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:53 06 July 2010

National tetrathlon champion Liam Brinkley.

National tetrathlon champion Liam Brinkley.

Jonathan Redhead

Waveney has a new national champion after 16-year-old Liam Brinkley come out on top in the recent National Tetrathlon Championships.

The teenager, from the Waveney Harrier Pony Club, claimed his title by making a winning score after competing in the sport's four disciplines - swimming, shooting, running and horse riding - at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.

Waveney has a new national champion after 16-year-old Liam Brinkley come out on top in the recent National Tetrathlon Championships.

The teenager, from the Waveney Harrier Pony Club, claimed his title by making a winning score after competing in the sport's four disciplines - swimming, shooting, running and horse riding - at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.

And Brinkley, who trains with the WHPC at facilities at the St Felix School in Southwold, including a new shooting range, said he always felt it was going to be his year.

“I knew right from the start of the year that this year was mine,” he said.

“I'd been training really, really hard so I thought, why not?

“So I felt confident but at the same time it was wonderful to beat 60 other competitors - bizarre things can happen on the day and things can go wrong, but thankfully they didn't and I'm really happy.

“I've been part of the WHPC for six years now and been doing tetrathlon - Saint Felix School ran a triathlon during the autumn three years ago which I got involved in and I really enjoyed it.

“I picked up shooting which is really good and then I got into the national championships last year but I finished 10th.

“I owe a stupendous amount to Rose Hart who takes me for my riding, she's been a fantastic support and has been brilliant to everyone in the tetrathlon team.

“WHPC have been incredibly supportive throughout the time I've been with them.

“Without their help I wouldn't have been able to have won the national championships.”

The Tetrathlon takes place over two days and each athlete must take part in a 10m shooting competition, swim as many lengths as they can in three minutes, take part in a cross country run and a cross country ride.

“On the first day, it was swimming and shooting - I won the swim and came second in the shoot,” Brinkley said.

“I also took part in a run and a ride - I came third in the run and completed a challenging cross country course on my horse.

“I won the competition overall and my trophy now takes pride of place on our mantelpiece at home.”

Brinkley picked up the national crown in the intermediate section and has already set his sights on more sporting success in the future - potentially taking on the Olympic sport of pentathlon.

“I've just taken up fencing, and I'd like to get my name into some modern pentathlon competitions. I've also got a horse which I'm bringing on and she's looking good,” he said.

“I want to have a career which involves sport or horse riding in some way - if I can't compete professionally then I'd like to train others.

“I'm certainly not someone who could handle a nine-to-five job, as I need to be outside. When I'm indoors I'm like a rocket, bouncing off all the walls!

“I think I've been involved in a broad enough spectrum of sports now to be able to get in to training one day.”

WHPC tetrathlon organiser Jane Ward said: "Everyone at WHPC is delighted with Liam's achievements, as we are of all our members.

“Liam's worked extremely hard over his time with us - so it's great to see his enthusiasm and the dedication of our trainers has paid off.

“I'd like to thank everyone who has helped Liam along the way.

“We've got some fantastic facilities, including our new shooting range and turning target system.

“It's because of aspects like that which have resulted in us enjoying such a successful season as we have.”

Meanwhile, Amy Ward, a St Felix School pupil, finished 23rd in the intermediate girls section.

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