PRESTWICH triathlete Anna Weaver admits she surprised even herself after scooping two bronze medals in the space of 10 days at major international tournaments.

The 30-year-old, who lives near the St Margaret's entrance of Heaton Park, finished fourth overall and third in her age category at the European Sprint Triathlon Championships (750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run) in Lisbon, Portugal, on Friday, May 27.

She then repeated the trick at the World Sprint Duathlon Championships (5k run, 20k bike, 2.5k run) in Aviles, Spain on Sunday, June 5, storming to another third-place finish in her age group and fifth overall.

Weaver's double delight followed a bronze medal at last year's World Duathlon Championships in Australia – her debut on the international stage in a discipline she only took up seriously in 2014.

She said: "I am a runner by trade, having competed over 10k for the North of England on a number of occasions, but a period of niggles and injuries led me to take up cycling and swimming as a way of maintaining fitness."

The former Salford Harrier taught herself how to swim front crawl in just three months then joined Manchester Triathlon Club before finishing second in her first sprint triathlon in Salford in 2014.

Weaver, who works full-time as a trauma territory manager for a medical supplies company, proved to be an accomplished cyclist, and now races for Yorkshire-based Team Vertex, taking part in the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire as well as the national road race series.

She recently won the North West 25-mile time trial title, dipping under the benchmark time of 60 minutes to win the crown.

But her biggest successes to date have come in the duathlon, which combines her best two disciplines - running and cycling.

She won a major event in Stockton in 2015 to qualify for the World Duathlon Championships in Australia later that year, where Weaver claimed age-group bronze to automatically qualify for this year's event.

She was concerned the scheduling of this year’s championships, so soon after the European Sprint Triathlon, would harm her chances of repeating the trick.

But after bagging another two bronze medals, Weaver is now considering her options, with a possible move to away from full-time work to become an elite racer a possibility.

"I must admit I was pretty amazed to win another two bronze medals in the space of 10 days," she said.

"I go into the remainder of the season in good spirits now and I'm eager to achieve more national and international recognition.

"Unfortunately, triathlon is self-funded. Even when you represent Great Britain you have to cover travel, accommodation and GB management fees in order to get on the start line at the championships."

Weaver is hoping to gain sponsorship to help her cut down the number of hours she works and increase her training.

"In a typical week I train more than 15 hours running, cycling and swimming, so obviously every little bit of sponsorship helps as an amateur," she added.

If you are interested in supporting Weaver's bid to join the professional ranks, call her on 07816 278882 or find out more by searching for Annabella Weaver on Facebook.