NATALIE Thomas has been crowned the European Aquathlon Champion after a successful race in Cologne, Germany.

The European Champion was competing in the 25 to 29 age category, which consists of a 1,000 metre swim and a 5k run.

Starting the race well, Thomas got clear of other competitors early in the water, before changing into her running gear. At this point Thomas came into her own, catching up with some of the male runners before crossing the line to claim gold.

Natalie said: “I was amazed at how good I felt, especially during the swim and it was great to be on the podium with two other British athletes.”

Now, the focus for Thomas, who is being sponsored by Salisbury Reds, is reaching the Triathlon World Championships, which are set to be held in Canada later this year.

After taking part in a qualifying race held at Rutland water, Leicestershire, she came fifth in her age category. This position looks set to be enough to send her to Canada.

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