Lauren Strange (20) is preparing to compete in the ITU World Triathlon Final in Switzerland.
The student from Tildarg will travel with her dad Paul to Lausanne on Wednesday, August 28 as part of the Triathlon Ireland team.
Lauren will compete in the 20-25 age category, taking on a 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run.
Lauren will be staying on the shores of Lake Geneva with the swim stage of the event taking place in the lake.
Lauren has been making steady progress on the international stage over recent years.
She placed 25th in the World Championship in Rotterdam in 2017.
At the European Championship, staged in Glasgow in 2018, Lauren finished in 11th place.
This year Lauren and her dad, who is also her coach, believe she can secure a top 10 finish in Switzerland.
Speaking to the Times, Lauren said: “I qualified for the ITU World Championship Final last year and I have been looking forward to it since then.
“It will be a great opportunity to test myself against other top triathletes and gain more vital experience at this level.”
Commenting ahead of the Swiss trip, Paul stated: “Lauren’s season runs from April until September and she will have two more races after the championship in Switzerland.
“At this stage, she is guaranteed a top three finish in Ireland for her age group. Her mum, sister and myself are very proud of Lauren and how she is competing.
“If she keeps making the strides she is, we’re aiming for her to be in contention for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.
“Lauren has already shown she is also a competent coach, helping to train paratriathlon athletes and this is beneficial for her own progression in the sport.”
The Sports Studies student has recently been accepted to start second year at Ulster University Jordanstown.
Lauren, who swims for Larne Swimming Club added: “I’d like to thank the agencies and businesses who have supported me. The GLL Foundation, Mary Peters Trust, Antrim Auto Parts and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.
“I’d also like to thank my family for all of the support they have given me.”
Ahead of her trip to Switzerland, family and friends will be taking part in a sponsored walk at Hazelbank Park at 7pm on Friday, August 23 to help raise funds to cover some of the competition expenses.
If you would like to make a donation and are unable to attend the park on Friday evening, contact Paul at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauren will compete in the standard Olympic class at Dungarvan, Co Waterford on September 7 before finishing her season at the Pulse Port Beach triathlon in Co Louth on September 14.