BASILDON Athletic Club member Louise Douglass is aiming to build on last year’s success when she returns to the World Duathlon Championships.

Douglass has qualified for the competition, which will be held in Penticton, Canada, in August.

And having come eighth in last year’s contest, Douglass is determined to better her performance from 12 months ago.

Douglass, 36, said: “Qualifying for the World Duathlon Championships was a major aim and I have high expectations of at least a top 10 finish, but quietly I want top five.

“Being able to travel to places such as Penticton, Canada is fantastic and very exciting.

“It really motivates you to push to those higher levels.

“I was really lucky to pre-qualify for the World Championships due to my performance at Aviles, in the 2016 World Duathlon Championships, as I was the best placed British athlete and finished in the top 10.

“I have since competed in two qualifying events in Bedford, where I also finished in a qualifying position, just to ensure I have earned my place.”

Douglass, who is hoping for further support with funding, trains 11 hours per week while combining being a director of Key Stage 3 and a PE teacher at the Deanes School.

Having been a hurdles competitor since the age of nine, a severe long-term back injury resulted in Douglass having to stop running and hurdling.

Douglass competed in the London Standard Duathlon in September 2015, before taking on the European Sprint Duathlon Championships, where she came fifth.

And Douglass goes into the World Duathlon Championships knowing that she has next year’s World Triathlon Championships to look forward to.

Douglass added: “In my first Olympic Triathlon in Leeds I found myself finishing third in my age group, securing bronze at the British Championships.

“I didn’t have a clue where I finished until my mum text me saying “The results say you came third, is that right?” and I must have checked the results at least five times after that just to make sure.

“Having my name called out on the podium at the British Triathlon National Championships was so surreal.

“It was one of the official qualifiers for the 2018 World Triathlon Championships, in Australia, so I was delighted.”