Banbridge triathlete Russell White has become only the third Irish athlete in history to claim a World Cup podium place after a career best performance carried him to silver at the the ITU World Cup race at Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic on Sunday.
White was strong throughout the Standard (Olympic) distance race which is notorious as bring one of the toughest on the world circuit.
The local man emerged fifth out of the water from the 1,500m swim and biked at the front on a hilly and technical course before executing a blistering 29min 43sec 10km run to finish just 14 seconds behind eventual winner, Russia's Dmitry Polyanskiy.
"I am buzzing to have finally made my first World Cup podium finishing second today at Karlovy Vary," said a delighted White after the race, "I have had a massive racing block with eight races in seven weeks but I am so glad I have managed to get better with every race.
"I've had an up and down season this year with being in very good shape for the Commonwealth Games, not using that fitness, and then getting sick shortly after. It's been hard to turn it around but I can’t believe that I have not only turned it around but also managed achieved a career best result today."
As well as being the standout result in White's career thus far, it also equals the best ever finish by an Irish athlete in a World Cup triathlon,White becoming just the third Irish competitor after Aileen Reid and Bryan Keane to stand on a World Cup podium.
White acknowledged the result will have a huge effect on his Olympic qualifying and World Triathlon points and on his state of mind heading in to the World Triathlon Grand Final in Australia.
"I can now turn my focus to the Grand final in Gold Coast in two weeks and then round off the season with three further World Cup events next month. Thank you for all the support from home and it is great to get the Irish tri-suit back up onto a World Cup podium," White concluded.