TRIATHLETE Keith Bradshaw aims to make his wife proud after he beat her in a friendly wager to win a place in the ITU Age Group World Championships in New Zealand.

Bradshaw, 54, a member of Calne SMaRTT (St Mary’s Running and Triathlon Team), who lives in Studley, will represent Great Britain in his first ever international race in Auckland on Monday.

He qualified to race in the 55-59 age group race after impressing at the Big Cow Sprint Triathlon at Emberton Park in Buckinghamshire last May.

The former RAF man’s second-placed finish in his age group secured his place in New Zealand.

“I’ve only been doing triathlon seriously for around three years and when I first heard about the age group championships, I thought that it would be something I’d love to do,” said Bradshaw, who now works for BT.

“When I told my wife, Debbie, that I was going to go for it this year and that the championships were in New Zealand, she said that she would pay for me to go if I could get there.

“I got there and she confided afterwards that she thought she was safe.

“It’s going to be a great opportunity. We’re going to be at a proper opening ceremony alongside the elite GB athletes and that will be amazing.

“There are 69 other athletes in my age group and the Australian and New Zealand contingents will be really strong.

“I’ve got no idea how I’ll do but I’m going to give it my best shot.”

Bradshaw warmed up for the World Championships by competing a one kilometre swim and five kilometre run in the Aquathlon world championship race this week.

Wroughton triathlete Matt Fisher is also heading to New Zealand as he prepares to represent his country for the second time.

Fisher, 38, races for Marlborough And District Triathlon Club (MAD-Tri) and represented his country at the European Duathlon Championships in Ireland last year.

Fisher, who works as a sales and marketing director, said: “Despite only getting into triathlon from a standing start in 2010, I’m especially proud to be representing my country for the second time in a World Championship.

“Last year in Beijing was a special experience and, following the success of the Brownlee brothers in the Olympics, I think this year is going to be even better.

“I’m stronger and faster than I was 12 months ago, so I’m raring to go.”