HE was the youngest competitor in his age category, but that did not stop Matt Smith from being crowned a World Duathlon Champion for the second year in a row.
Smith (20) secured his back-to-back championship in his age category of 20-24 but also managed to come fifth overall in the event against 1300 entrants.
This year, Smith completed a longer course with a 10km run, 40km bike ride followed by a 5km run.
The event was held in Spain and Smith said he knew the competition was going to be fierce.
“I really didn’t expect to win this year because I was by far the youngest in my category,” he said.
“Also, going to the world’s most dominant triathlon country, Spain, there was always going to be quality competition.
“So I just went into the race with a simple race plan to see where I ended up.”
Ahead of the pack from the outset, Smith said despite his win, he could have pushed himself harder.
“We were the first wave off, and I was the first out of all the athletes to finish, so that in itself was amazing because the crowd was cheering insanely loud for me,” he said.
In the lead-up to the competition, Smith trained extensively with Victoria Park-based club Eclipse Fitness, under coach Stuart Durham.
“Training was pretty hectic, it was twice a day almost every day a week with the occasional three session day,” Smith said.
Back in Perth with his gold medal in tow, Smith said the Eclipse Fitness community had celebrated with him by going on a group run.