Boughton's Ray O’Grady emerged victorious down the home straight as he secured gold in his category at the World Duathlon Championships in Pontevedra, Spain.
Ray, 64, was involved in a fight to the finish line with fellow Brit Mick Anglim in the 65-69 Male Sprint group, pipping his rival to the gold medal by just six seconds.
After crossing the finishing line in a time of 1:11:36, the retired telephone engineer and member of Chester Tri Club, Ray spoke of his disbelief at topping the strong international field.
“The guy (Anglim) was on my shoulder all the way and we had a bit of a do and I really had to give all that I had at the end,” said Ray, who won bronze at the European Championships in Holland in April.
“I had no idea where I had finished but I knew I had done well as I had passed one of the guys who beat me in Holland.
“My wife Angela had been following how I’d been doing and she was convinced I’d won, but I didn’t believe it until my name came up on that board.
“I couldn’t believe it when it said I’d won. I was just on top of the world as it was a tough field with a lot of strong competitors from all over the world.
“It was a lot of emotions at once, the main one being relief I think. You plan these races and put in the training but you have to believe in yourself, which is what I did, and it paid off.
“I train everyday and it was the culmination of a lot of hard work and dedication. There is never a moment that I’m still and I’m always running, cycling or swimming.
“I just want to keep going and try and see if I can get some more success in the future.”
It was a family affair at the competition, with Ray’s step-daughter, Karen Riley, also representing Great Britain, finishing in 19th in the 40-44 Female Sprint category.
“It’s funny really as we were both out there and both representing our country,” added Ray.
“Karen did extremely well in her category in a strong field and she, as I did, managed to secure her qualification for next year’s World Championships in Brisbane, Australia, which will be a fantastic event.
“For me it will be a case of keeping on going, keeping on training and entering as many competition as I can and just see where I get. It’ll be great to defend my title in Australia next year.
“I’m looking forward to it already.”