FORMER Kelvedon schoolboy James Long claimed a bronze medal at the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Triathlon Series in Rotterdam.

The Essex-born triathlete finished third in the 45-49 year-old male age group standard Olympic distance race, where there were 145 entries from all over the world.

Long, formerly of Feering, was only two minutes ten seconds away from becoming world champion after completing the course in a very respectable two hours 1m 27s.

The standard Olympic distance race comprised of 1,500 metre open water swim in Rotterdam harbour, followed by a 40 kilometre bike race in Rotterdam city before finishing with a 10km run.

Each element of the race was conducted back to back.

Long, a former St Mary’s Kelvedon primary school pupil, began his competitive interest in triathlon when he was a member of Witham Dolphins Swimming Club.

He then progressed to become a member of the Junior British Triathlon team and competed in the European Junior Championships in France, in 1990.

Long, who is an active member of the Farnham Triathlon Club in Surrey, qualified and competed in the 2013 ITU Triathlon World Championships in London.