After competing in triathlons for just short of a year, an Oswestry-born fitness enthusiast has taken the top spot at this year’s International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships.

Rebecca Duxbury, formerly a pupil in Marches School, won the event which consisted of long-distance cycling, swimming and a huge 18-mile run.

It has taken Rebecca just 10 months to become world champion, after only starting to compete in triathlons in July 2018.

Despite the 32°C heat, Rebecca was able to overcome tough opposition to achieve the best overall time in the women’s category.

“It was a very difficult race,” she said.

“Despite the heat, the water was freezing during the swim, so it was a lot for the body to take.

“But then being out of the water meant running in really hot weather and biking on what was a really hilly course, which was challenging, but I think it suited me better as I prefer racing on a hilly course as opposed to a flat one.”

Rebecca, who spent a year as a member of Oswestry Tri Club during her time at Marches School, finished with a time of six hours, 36 minutes and 30 seconds.

She took on the race as part of her preparation for an even more difficult challenge later this year - an Iron Man race.

She added: “It was an event I used to build myself up for the Iron Man challenge in September.

“It will be my first ever one and it will be a lot longer.

“Iron Man challenges are very much survival of the fittest - it will consist of 112 miles on a bike, followed by a marathon and a 2.4-mile swim.”

Although she is preparing for a much harder challenge, Rebecca insists she was surprised to chieve the fastest women’s time.

She said: “I didn’t expect to win] it at all.

“It helped to have such fantastic support over there - it was overwhelming.

“I went with my boyfriend and a group of friends and they were all there to cheer me on at the end when I crossed the line.

“It really was great fun.”