Sunderland police officer set to represent Great Britain at European Triathlon Championships

Sunderland-based police officer Gav Thompson.
Sunderland-based police officer Gav Thompson.
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A Wearside-based police officer is gearing up to represent Great Britain at the European Triathlon Championships in Portugal later this month.

Pc Gav Thompson successfully qualified to represent team GB in his age group last summer and will now compete in the sprint distance triathlon in Lisbon.

The race will see him complete a 750 metre swim followed by a 13 mile bike ride finished off with a 5km run.

Gav started taking part in the multiple-stage events that see competitors take part in three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines four years ago but says he has always been interested in sport and fitness.

And, wanting to try something new and seeing an email about the Northumbria Police Triathlon Club he became intrigued by the discipline.

Although, Gav never did join the force's club he went on to join Coalfields Racing Team in 2014 - a good move considering he will be competing with two of his club mates in the championships.

In preparation for the competition Gav has competed in events across the country and fits in training around his role as a police officer, he is currently based in Sunderland as a 24/7 response officer, and being a new dad - Gav recently became the proud Dad of young Oliver who will be going along to Portugal with him to act as chief cheerleader.

He said: "I'm really looking forward to the championships and representing Team GB in my age group.

"The standard of the competition is very high and I'll be competing against the very best so we'll see what happens, I want to enjoy the event and have fun, although it would be nice to finish high up in the list of British lads!

"It will be great to have Oliver there cheering me on from the sidelines"

Southern Area Commander T/Chief Superintendent Ged Noble said: "It goes without saying Gav has the full support of the force and that everyone will be cheering him on, albeit from Northumbria and not sunny Lisbon! We're incredibly proud that one of our own officers has been so successful in qualifying for the competition and wish him the very best of luck.

"This is just one of the many examples of the great calibre of officers and staff we have many of who have attained incredible achievements outside of work as well as within Northumbria Police."