TWO talented North-East athletes are preparing to represent Great Britain at the World Triathlon Championships.

Peter Prior and Christian Brown, from Darlington, will travel to Edmonton, in Canada, to represent their country alongside the likes of the Brownlee brothers and Jodie Stimpson later this week.

The determined duo, who are both members of Darlington Triathlon Club, were selected after qualifying for their age groups earlier this year.

Mr Prior, 45, will compete in the 45 to 49 men’s Olympic distance category on Monday, September 1 while 16-year-old Christian competes in the 16 to 19 men’s sprint distance on Friday, August 29.

“I really wasn’t expecting to qualify - it was a nice surprise,” said Christian, who took part in his first triathlon just over a year ago and swims for Darlington Amateur Swimming Club.

“I’m looking forward to competing, and watching the elites – especially the Brownlee brothers.”

The Carmel College student had to fit training around studying for his GCSEs, in which he achieved six As, four Bs and one C.

“I just got on with it and was very organised. I really enjoy getting out there and doing stuff, I don’t like sitting around,” he said.

“Hopefully one day I maybe I will compete in the Olympics – you have to dream big.”

His mother, Lynn Brown, who will also travel to Canada to cheer on her son, added: “We are so proud of him. It was totally unexpected for him to qualify.

“He trains for about 15 to 20 hours a week, and gets up at 5.30am two mornings a week for swimming practice.

“He has to say no to social things sometimes, but he really enjoys competing.”

His teammate, Mr Prior, took up triathlons five years ago and has since competed in three gruelling Ironman events, as well as a number of standard distance triathlons.

The father-of-two, who works as a project manager for Esh Group, said: “My aim was to compete in a triathlon before I turned 40. I did my first triathlon in 2009 and have got addicted to them.

“My family are really supportive and my daughter has also started taking an interest in them too.”

His wife Karen said: “This amazing achievement has involved a lot of hard work and determination, and both families are very proud of them.

“We are all looking forward to cheering them on in Edmonton.”