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Telford's Hannah is flying high after becoming a double European champion

By Lisa O'Brien | Shifnal | News | Published:

An RAF air traffic control officer from Telford who represented Great Britain in two athletic competitions has become a double European champion.

Hannah with her medals at RAF Shawbury

In her very first competition representing Team GB, 24-year-old Hannah Dodwell, from Telford, won her first gold medal in the 2018 European Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships held in Glasgow.

She completed the race – a 750m swim, 20K cycle and 5K run – in one hour and 13 minutes.

She travelled to Ibiza for her second outing and again came home with a European gold medal; this time in the aquathlon which consists of a 1km swim followed by a 5km run. She completed it in a time of just over 34 minutes. When asked what winning her first race meant to her, Hannah said: “I was in shock, I never believed that for my first race at European level I would be placed, let alone win.

“The reality of my achievement didn’t sink in until I was stepping on to the podium to receive my medal.”

Hannah is a former student of Idsall School in Shifnal and was also a dedicated member of Oakengates Amateur Swimming Club and Wrekin College Swimming Club.

Amazing

Keen to pass on her experience and knowledge, she quickly qualified as a level one swimming coach and level two swimming teacher.

Enjoying the pool environment so much she also qualified as a lifeguard and worked at Hadley Learning Community swimming pool as well as some of Telford and Wrekin Council’s leisure centres.

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She now works full-time as an air traffic control officer in the RAF and, for the first time since joining, she is based close to home at RAF Shawbury.

Hannah said: “This has been a truly amazing first Team GB season and I can’t thank people enough for their continuous support.

“The RAF central fund for awarding me a sports grant, which funded me to take part in these competitions, including my travel and accommodation expenditure as well as contributing towards my GB Tri-suit.

“Also, thanks to RAF Triathlon Association and the RAF Shawbury physical education flight team who made me believe in myself and gave me confidence to perform and enjoy the experiences.

“And finally, RAF Shawbury operations wing for granting me the time off to compete at such prestigious competitions to represent not only myself but the RAF and of course GB.”

She is now aiming to compete at the World and European Championships for sprint triathlon and aquathlon.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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