AN ATHLETE from Dinas Powys has represented Great Britain for the first time, taking part in the European Triathlon Championships just ten weeks after breaking her leg and her foot.

Kate Mears was selected to represent her country at the event for the first time, participating in the 45-49 age group, but when injury struck she was worried she would be unable to compete.

"I was just out on a run and I fell really awkwardly. Then I felt it snap," said Mears.

"I didn't know until a week later that I received an email telling me I'd been selected to represent Great Britain. I thought I was going to have to turn it down."

It was a long road to recovery for Mears, but she was determined to compete in the event and underwent a gruelling period of rehabilitation, during which she spent six weeks in plaster.

"I had a lot of physiotherapy, and they really did excellent work," she said.

"My leg healed very well, but the two bones I had broken in my foot were more troublesome.

"The physios did a phenomenal job getting me back into a condition to run."

Even once Mears had travelled to the championships in Kitzbühel, Austria, she still had fears that she would be unable to complete the event.

"I wasn't even sure that I was going to be able to finish it," she said.

"This is the first time I've ever been selected and I thought the chance might not come again,"

But finish she did - and after what she describes as being: "the experience of a lifetime" to represent her country, Mears has now set her sights on returning to competition injury-free next year.

"I'm hoping to qualify for the European Championships in Estonia next July. There's a qualifying race next month which I'll need to do well in, but I think I'm in with a good chance.

"Following on from there I want to aim to qualify for the World Championships, also in 2018."