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Former Forres Academy student is a contender for the Commonwealth Games

By Craig Christie

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Lauren Bell.
Lauren Bell.

SMASHING two Scottish cycling records at the National Track Championships in Manchester has put a former Forres Academy pupil in contention for the next Commonwealth Games.

Yet Lauren Bell only took up cycling at the age of 17 after participating in a programme encouraging female athletes to follow their sporting dreams.

Now 20, the Forres sprint cyclist peddled her way to four medals including two golds in the Manchester velodrome this month.

A Sports Science student at Napier University in Edinburgh, Lauren competes for Black Line Team Racing and is one of the growing stars in her sport.

She won the 500m time trial race with a new Scottish record, and smashed Olympic champion Katie Archibald’s flying 200m run record.

Lauren also claimed gold in the keirin event. and bronze in both the individual sprint and team sprint over one amazing weekend.

“This is the third time I have been to the British Championships but the first where I have been competitive,” she said.

“This year was the main one where I was able to produce good times.

“I’m really hoping to get to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (in 2022). I would love to get to the Olympics one day as well but that is far away.”

Currently Lauren just competes internationally for Scotland but will surely now be attracting the attention of the Team GB selectors following her performance in Manchester.

She hopes her exploits can put her in contention for a place in the British team for July’s European under-23 championships in Portugal.

Running was Lauren’s passion at a younger age, until she took part in a Discover Your Power programme which tested her sporting prowess and recommended that she tried sprint cycling.

She immediately took up the sport and has made huge leaps of progress in a short space of time.

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