Lauren Steadman chases European hat-trick . . . and Clare Cunningham out to do the double

Lauren Steadman won a third European title. Picture: British Triathlon

Lauren Steadman won a third European title. Picture: British Triathlon - Credit: Archant

Two Hunts sporting heroines are set to battle for glory on the international stage on Friday.

Sawtry star Lauren Steadman is bidding to complete a hat-trick of European paratriathlon titles in Switzerland.

Among her opponents in the PT4 category in Geneva will be Papworth Everard athlete Clare Cunningham who is attempting to reclaim a crown she last lifted back in 2009.

Both ladies will need to negotiate a 750m swim, a 20.4km bike ride and a 5km run to challenge for honours.

Steadman 22, who is studying for a Masters degree in business and management at Portsmouth University, said: “I’ve won the title two years in a row and I will be giving it my best shot to defend it again.

“The European Championship is one of the major events on the calendar and it is a case of trying to put together all the smaller things I’ve been working on in a race situation.

“Training has gone really well and I’m feeling pretty fit and nifty!”

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Meanwhile Cunningham, 38, hopes changes to her training regime will pay dividends on the European stage as she looks to add to a medal collection which includes two silvers and a bronze in addition to her gold six years ago.

She said: “The European Championships is the first of my main races this season and the first time I will be racing both the athletes who beat me last year at the World Championships when I finished third.

“I have made some changes to my training in the past month - the main one being relocating to Loughborough during the week so that I can train full-time with the British Paratriathlon squad and coaches.

“I have succeeded in banking a very solid block of training and so I am feeling very strong and positive as I head to Switzerland.

“I’m looking forward to testing myself against the best in the world to see what progress I have made.”