Paris Olympics 2024 (Team GB): Meet Triathlete Beth Potter

Beth Potter is a 32, Scottish triathlete and long-distance runner. She has won multiple World Championship titles. Potter competes internationally for Great Britain and also represents Scotland at the Commonwealth Games. She has qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Beth Potter Qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics

Current World Champion triathlete Beth Potter and double Olympic medalist Alex Yee have been announced as the first two athletes selected for Team GB’s triathlon team for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games. There are six available spots on the triathlon team. Potter hopes to repeat her victory at the Olympic test event in August, where she finished first.

Potter won four medals in the World Triathlon Championship Series before crossing the finish line first at the Grand Final in Pontevedra to become the World Champion.

This will be Potter’s second Olympic Games. Previously, she represented Team GB in athletics at the 2016 Rio Olympics, competing in the 10,000m race. After Rio, she switched to triathlon and has focused on it full-time for the past seven years.

“Paris will be my first game as a triathlete, and I am looking forward to it, “This year has been tough to get the results I needed to qualify so I am looking forward to a bit of a mini-break before getting back into training with my full focus being on Paris.”

Speaking to Team GB, Potter said

Britain’s Beth Potter Wins Paris 2024 Triathlon Test Event

British triathlete Beth Potter beat French champion Cassandre Beaugrand to win the first race on the Paris 2024 triathlon course ahead of next year’s Olympic Games.

Potter, currently leading the World Triathlon Championship Series, finished six seconds ahead of Beaugrand in the women’s event during the triathlon Olympic test event on Thursday.

Beaugrand finished the swim portion first, but Potter made up time in the 40km bike leg and extended her lead in the 10km run. After the race, the 31-year-old Potter said, “In the end, it’s about who can endure the most pain, and I was not ready to give up first place, so I kept pushing and digging deep.”

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Potter added, “I just believed in myself.” An exhausted Beaugrand collapsed at the finish line, saying she had cramps and muscle pain during the race.

The 26-year-old Beaugrand said, “It was extremely tough. I struggled to reach the finish, so I’m happy with my performance today. I’m a bit disappointed to lose this way, especially since the sprint finish is one of my strengths. But you saw I gave everything I had.”

Germany’s Laura Lindemann took third place, while Emma Lombardi of France was fourth. Taylor Knibb of the USA, who won silver in the mixed relay at Tokyo 2020, rounded out the top five finishers.

Beth Potter Aims for Paris 2024 Olympics After Winning World Title

Before switching to triathlon, Beth Potter did not even own a bicycle. Now, at age 32, she is the world champion and has her sights set on winning a medal at the Paris Olympics. The Scottish athlete has gone through a remarkable transformation from track running to triathlon over the past seven years, going from heartbreak in the 10,000m event at the Rio Olympics to becoming the best in her new sport.

“I didn’t know if track running was for me anymore. I really wanted to perform at the highest global level, but I felt I wasn’t good enough on the track to achieve that. I wanted to win a global medal. I wanted to be the best in the world. And I felt that was unachievable in track.”

Potter explains

Soon after, she started considering a switch to triathlon. Although Potter had not done competitive swimming for eight years, she had a talent for it growing up in Bearsden, Glasgow, before focusing more seriously on running. The cycling portion was the missing piece for her.

While she could ride a bike, Potter did not own one and had never ridden a proper road racing bike before. However, she thought she could learn, and decided she had nothing to lose. After balancing running with her job as a physics teacher, Potter soon found herself in a full-time training environment in Leeds, working alongside Britain’s elite triathletes including the Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonny.

Beth Potter grew up in Bearsden

Beth Potter was born on December 27, 1991, in Scotland. She is currently 32 years old. She grew up in Bearsden and ran for the Victoria Park Glasgow club. Potter stands at a height of 1.70 meters (5 feet 7 inches) and weighs 51 kilograms (112 pounds). She attended Loughborough University and later moved to London for further training at Saint Mary’s University.

Beth Potter Family
Image: Beth Potter with her family, Beth (left) Her mother, and Father Alex, (Middle), and her sister Sarah (Right) (Source: Beth’s Instagram)

Potter’s father, Alex, is also a competitive runner, and her sister, Sarah, is a running coach. When she was young, Potter was a competitive swimmer.

Potter used to go on camping holidays every year with her mom, dad, and sister. She found these trips fun. She also remembers going on a holiday to Croatia and riding a banana boat that swung from side to side. One person would be at the back, and that part would flip every time, causing them to fall off. Potter would spend her time trying to get back on the banana boat.

Beth Potter’s Career

Beth Potter started her career as a runner in 2004

Potter started competing as a runner in 2004. In 2008, she came first at the Scottish Under-15 Championships in cross country and the 1500m track event. She finished 36th in the Under 20 cross-country race at the World Championships in 2010.

After recovering from an injury, Potter placed 18th in the 5,000m at the 2013 European Under-23 Championships (16th after some athletes were disqualified). Her coach Mick Woods convinced her not to quit running. In 2014, competing at the senior level, Potter had more success representing Scotland in Glasgow, finishing 9th in 5,000m and 5th in 10,000m. However, the next year in 2015, she had a disappointing season due to illness.

Potter qualified to represent Great Britain at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She secured her spot as the second British woman in the 10,000m race behind Jess Andrews. Before the Olympics, Potter trained with fellow Scottish runner Steph Twell. She also worked weekly with a sports psychologist to help manage stress. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Potter finished 34th in the women’s 10,000m event.

Potter made her elite triathlon debut in August 2017, finishing 11th in a sprint European Cup race in Wuustwezel. Just a month later, in only her second triathlon, she won a European Cup race in Funchal, Portugal with an overall time of 1:01:36, powered by her 16:44 5km run split.

Soon after, Potter competed at the Commonwealth Games, breaking the one-hour barrier for the first time with a 59:50 clocking for 12th place. She also finished 7th in the mixed relay event.

In 2018, Potter’s only podium was a runner-up spot at the Antwerp ITU Triathlon World Cup in 1:03:11. But in May 2019, she highlighted after using her 10km run speed (33:23) to win the ETU Triathlon European Championships in Weert, Netherlands. 

Professional Career

Potter finished 4th in the 2021 Super League Triathlon Championship Series. She also won the Super League Triathlon Arena Games event in London and came second at the Rotterdam event in 2022. Potter won the Arena Games Triathlon Powered by Zwift event in Munich, the first competition of the new Arena Games Triathlon Powered by Zwift Esports World Championship series.

Two weeks later, at the Arena Games Triathlon London event, she finished 2nd behind France’s Cassandre Beaugrand. At the final event of the series held in Marina Bay Singapore, Potter finished 2nd again, behind Hungary’s Zsanett Bragmeyer.

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Her 2nd place finish was enough for Potter to take the overall title in the 2022 Arena Games Triathlon Series, making her the first-ever Esports Triathlon World Champion. She also finished 3rd at the SLT NEOM event, the final competition of the 2022 Super League Triathlon season. Her podium finish secured her 4th place overall in that series.

In August 2023, Potter won the Olympic Games Test Event for the 2024 Paris Olympics, finishing ahead of Cassandre Beaugrand and Laura Lindemann. On September 24th, she was crowned the World Champion after winning the World Triathlon Championship Series final in Pontevedra, Spain. In November 2023, it was announced that Potter had been selected for the British team for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.