Watford Harriers’ Hannah Kitchen took silver whilst representing Great Britain at senior elite level for the first time at the ETU European Aquathlon Championships in Germany at the weekend.

Kitchen, a former Watford Grammar School for Girls student, was seventh after the 1km swim in the Rhine in Cologne against a tough field which included the current world and Olympic champion from Russia.

By her own standards, the Rickmansworth athlete was disappointed by her position after the swim but more than made up for that setback in the 5km run.

Having worked her way up to second place with 1.5km to go, Kitchen ran side-by-side against a Czech competitor, only to be outsprinted by five seconds in the race for gold as she finished second in 31.48.

“I was extremely happy to come away from my first senior elite championships with a medal, it’s tough to get so close to the gold and just miss out but I gave it everything I could,” said Kitchen.

“There’s lots of positives to take away from the event and lots to work on too. Cologne was a great city and I would love to race there again, it was great to have my parents there and my coach who raced in the elite men’s race.”

Kitchen continued: “Next [this] weekend I am competing in the first race of the British Super Series in the elite wave at the Blenheim Triathlon and the following weekend at the Windsor Triathlon, so it’s a busy time of year and I’m really looking forward to putting myself up against the best of the British girls.

“I hope to be selected for the senior elite GB team at the ITU World Aquathlon Championships in Canada in August too,” she added.