By James Crook

121300338May 21 - British Triathlon has named its largest ever squad for the 2013 European Triathlon Union (ETU) Paratriathlon Championships, with world champions Steven Judge and Iain Dawson among those included in the 17-strong team.

Three reigning European champions in Jane Egan, Charlotte Ellis and Dawson are selected in for the team heading to the Turkish city of Antalya next month, along with 2009 European champion Clare Cunningham, who will be one of the more experienced members of the British contingent.

"I've been part of the British Paratriathlon set up since it started, and it's really exciting to be part of the biggest ever team," Cunningham said.

"Since finding out that we would have the opportunity to be part of the Paralympics in Rio [2016] things have really stepped up and the British team leads the way in terms of professionalism and results."

And the 35-year-old T4 competitor has her sights set on a successful Championships, with hopes of regaining her European crown in mind.

1243642642009 European champion Clare Cunningham has her sights set on regaining her crown in Turkey next month

"I'm in good shape and really looking forward to the Europeans," she added.

"I last won the title in 2009 and I hope that the fact it's my birthday during the Championships is a good omen for it being a special weekend for me and the rest of the team."

The experience of athletes such as Cunningham and the array of current international title holders will prove invaluable to offer support for young up-and-comers such as 17-year-old George Peasgood and 20-year-old Lauren Steadman, who are included in the squad.

British Paratriathlon performance manager, Jonathon Riall said: "We're delighted to have been able to select our largest ever Paratriathlon team for the European Championships.

"It definitely feels like we are on the road to Rio now and the additional UK Sport Lottery funding has enabled us to take a truly world-class support team with us as well.

"This event is about maintaining our position as the world's top Paratriathlon nation, providing racing opportunities in preparation for the world championships in London and developing athletes in new categories."

The 2013 ETU Championships are due take place on June 14 until 16.

Contact the writer of this story at james[email protected]

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