National bronze medal in modern biathlon for sports-mad teacher

Sports-mad teacher John Anderson, of the Parish Church Primary School in Gainsborough, is celebrating a brilliant bronze medal at the British Modern Biathlon Championships.

All smiles from teacher John Anderson after his bronze medal at the British Modern Biathlon Championships.
All smiles from teacher John Anderson after his bronze medal at the British Modern Biathlon Championships.

Modern biathlon is an exciting introduction to multi-discipline sport events, with athletes completing a separate run and a swim.

The 30-year-old Anderson qualified for the championships, held at Solihull, near Birmingham, after success at the East Midlands round, and he tackled a 1600m run before a 100m dash in the swimming pool.

“To be placed third is a wonderful feeling,” he beamed. “It was a tough event, but I gave it everything I had -- just as we tell the children in school when they are doing their sport.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of everybody at Parish. I’m now looking forward to defending my British teachers’ title at the Schools Biathlon Championships in London next March. Hopefully, I will be able to keep Parish School and Gainsborough on the sporting map.”

The Solihull event, organised by Pentathlon GB as part of the British Modern Biathlon Series of 2017/18, attracted some of the best biathletes from across the country. It was so popular that almost 800 competitors, aged from eight to 53, flocked to the Tudor Grange Leisure Centre to take part in various age groups and a range of distances.

Anderson’s success was not without its snags along the way because a frost-covered track meant the running had to be delayed for nearly an hour. He worked hard to finish fifth in his race, clocking a personal-best time of five minutes, 30 seconds, and after a short rest, it was into the pool. Here, he not only recorded another best time of one minute, 15 seconds, but also posted the fourth fastest of the entire day.

Adding all his points together, he totalled 2,463, including an extra 64 to take into account his age, and this was good enough for the bronze medal.

Several of Anderson’s pupils also took part in the East Midlands round, but none were able to achieve enough points to reach the national standard and qualify for Solihull.