TRIATHLETE Stephen Mavin is hopeful he has put his early-season injury troubles behind him as he heads to compete for Great Britain at the European Triathlon Championships this weekend.

TRIATHLETE Stephen Mavin is hopeful he has put his early-season injury troubles behind him as he heads to compete for Great Britain at the European Triathlon Championships this weekend.

Mavin had feared that his season was over before it had begun after suffering a calf tear during a training run, forcing him to miss six weeks of preparation.

However, the Somersham triathlete has been back in training for four weeks and is expecting a good performance when he travels to Athlone, Ireland, for the race on Saturday.

"I'm confident that I can be in a medal position after the swim, and then it's a case of holding the position," said Mavin, a former international swimmer. "A lot will depend on the run, but I'm going to give it a real good shot.

"I won a bronze at the World Championships in 2008, which was also over the sprint distance, so I'm feeling very positive about this weekend.

"Training has been going very well since the injury, and my cycling and running times are right up there, so I've got high hopes."

Mavin goes into the championships in good form after an encouraging showing at the televised UK Ironman triathlon last week at Wimbleball Lake, near Exmoor.

Mavin again showed his strength in the water to beat 2005 Hawaii Ironman World Champion Faris Al-Sultan and lead out all the sponsored professional athletes after the first leg.

He remained first in his age group after a gruelling bike stage, which included more than 2000m of climbing. It was only on the run that Mavin was passed, as he ran within himself to avoid aggravating the calf injury.

Mavin said: "What was all the more satisfying about the result is that just four weeks before I had not been able to run at all, and feared my triathlon season was over before it had started."