Belfast Telegraph

Triathlon : Aileen boosted by funding increase

By Frank Brownlow

AILEEN Reid has been rewarded for taking silver in the World Triathlon Series Grand Final in London by being promoted to the top level of funding.

The Derry star's Irish Sports Council funding will rise from 'World Class' level of €20,000 (£16,000) to 'Podium' level of €40,000 (£32,000).

Reid's silver was the best ever result by an Irish competitor.

There was disappointment though for Reid's fellow Ulster Olympian Gavin Noble, who has missed out on ISC funding.

The Enniskillen man spent much of 2013 rehabilitating from knee surgery and raced just one ITU European Cup, hence not meeting the ISC's criteria.

Noble did however go on to win both the Sprint and Standard Distance National Championships and Ironman 70.3 Zeel am See in Austria.

Ulster's London 2012 sailors have also been rewarded for their achievements.

The 49er duo of Ryan Seaton and Matthew McGovern will get 'World Class' funding of €20,000 (£16,000) each, while Laser competitor James Espey will receive 'International' backing of €12,000 (£9,800).

Back to triathlon, and Armagh's former world and European age group champion Conor Murphy was another to miss out despite several top 10 ITU results in 2013.

He was taken down in a crash in Japan when a podium finish was within sight and spent several weeks recovering.

Had he not crashed, Murphy would probably have been eligible for 'International' level funding.

Murphy's ranking currently stands at 96, the top 100 getting starts in the top tier World Triathlon Series. He will start his season at the Mooloolaba World Cup on March 15.

Bryan Keane is to remain on funding of €12,000 (£9,800) at 'International' level.

Keane is currently ranked 47th in the world but is aiming for the top 20 this season. A strong opening to the Olympic qualification campaign – which starts May 15 – is also high on his agenda.

Ben Shaw (22) will receive funding of €12,000 (£9,800) at the 'International' level for the first time.

Rising star Shaw has just recently joined the Triathlon Ireland programme.

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