Clean sweep in the European Firefighter Championships for the UK Triathlon Team: it's not very often in any sport that a UK team visits Germany and leaves with anything but a good lesson in how not to queue up, but in early September the UK Fire Service Team dispatched a top team to the European Championships in Dusseldorf to try and upset the odds.(triathalon)

The event was made up of two races (sprint distance being the shorter of the two and Olympic distance) with each country sending a maximum of five athletes for each race. Fourteen countries were represented with the Romanians winning the early competition for synchronised gaudiest tracksuits. The UK teams which were mixed male and female were made up of some top athletes including the likes of Adrian Wheatley, Craig Noble and Neil Mercer, all of whom regularly win races in our domestic calendar, with Karen Thacker and Sam Nicholson representing the females of the sport.

We arrived early Friday morning after the most turbulent flight since Apollo 13 and were welcomed with open arms by the ultra friendly Germans. After a hearty meal of potato soup followed by potato sandwiches and potato crumble, it was on to the pre race opening ceremony which promised to put Sydney 2000 in the shade. …

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