RISING star Beau Smith is firmly on-track to represent Great Britain and make his presence felt at next month’s World University Triathlon Championships in Brazil.

The 20-year-old, from Yealand Redmayne, was selected for the GB squad after winning gold at the 2013 British Universities Sprint Distance Triathlon Championships in Wiltshire.

Last year also saw him make a senior international debut at the European Cup in Turkey while his stock rose further after competing at the Elite Under-23 European Championships in Holland.

But after an indifferent last campaign, the Leeds University student – whose training partners include Olympic duo Alistair and Jonny Brownlee – is focused on the next step.

“I’m really excited to race at the World University Triathlon Championships and it will be the first time I have raced outside Europe so that will be a new experience,” he said.

“It was pleasing to get chosen based on last year’s results as it was a bit up and down time on the whole.

“I had some good and some not so good races but that has given me focus for this year’s winter training and the start of the season.

“A top ten finish in Brazil would be great, which might be realistic but it depends on the field which will be slightly different to most I have raced against before.

“There will be other nations out there which I haven’t competed against previously.”

While Smith is content to concentrate on the here and now rather than looking too far into the future, he still hopes big-stage competition will be a common pursuit in the years ahead.

“My ultimate aim when I finish university is to become a full-time athlete and make a living out of triathlon and Brazil is an important development race,” he added.

“In terms of sport it is going to be an exciting few years for the country, I don’t know what the future holds but I’m going to try my best to get towards selection for Rio 2016.

“That’s obviously a few years away and I still require progression. The rest of this year I need to race European Cups and some World Cup races which will hopefully aid my development further.”

With the hurdle of qualification for the World University Triathlon Championships safely cleared, a major stumbling blocking was finance, with Smith required to pay £1250 towards the cost of attending.

However, through a website called ‘Talent Backer’, the Lancaster-born athlete has made substantial progress with raising funds for his 2014 international programme.

“It would be shame if I couldn’t go through finance but I’ve already raised more than a £1000 and most of that money came within the first two days of the website being established.

“I’m very grateful to all the people who have put money in as without it I wouldn’t be able to go to Brazil.”

Further information about Beau Smith and funding possibilities for his racing commitments this year can be found at www.talentbacker.com/talents/view/beau-smith