Saturday, 16 October 2021

Babbayan impresses in the heat

A FORMER Henley athlete has recently represented Great Britain in the ITU World Championship Aquathlon.

Former Valley Road School, Gillotts and Henley College student Andy Babbayan finished eighth in the 40-44 age group.

The aquathlon consisted of a 1km swim in a cold, jellyfish-strewn lake and a 5km run in 31.5C heat in Fyn on Funen Island, Denmark.

Babbayan, who now lives in Hove, was brought up in Deanfield Road, Henley and was a member of Henley Swimming Club, eventually becoming its captain.

Whilst at university Babbayan swam for the combined Manchester Universities swimming team and ran the London Marathon just before graduating.

He then joined the army serving in Afghanistan and Iraq where he was a bomb disposal officer. Whilst serving in the UK he swam for the army and played water polo for the combined forces team. He also ran the New York marathon with an army team.

After leaving the army Babbayan worked in Abu Dhabi for three years and whilst there ran the 156-mile seven-day Sahara desert Marathon des Sables, finishing 83rd out of 1,200 entrants.

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