By David Gold

strathclyde_park_triathlon_03-08-11August 3 - London 2012 chair Sebastian Coe has been welcomed to Strathclyde Park by Glasgow 2014 chairman Lord Robert Smith on his first visit to a satellite venue for the Commonwealth Games.

Coe and Smith were met at the venue, which has an established rowing facility and is a regular host of triathlon but will be upgraded before 2014 to ensure the best possible experience for both athletes and spectators at the Games, by two young Scottish triathletes, Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon as they prepared for Glasgow 2014.

"Everyone is getting excited about the Olympics coming to London next year and our own countdown is now under the three year milestone," said Lord Smith.

"I'm delighted to welcome Seb Coe to Scotland to see just how big a difference both events are making north of the border.

"We all hope to improve the lives of Scots but we are also seeing tangible benefits through new and improved sporting facilities.

"In addition to the fantastic progress being made at the new National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, places like Strathclyde Park will also benefit from the Games."

Coe added: "With just less than three years to go, it is impressive to see and hear first-hand about the preparations to stage the Commonwealth Games triathlon event in 2014.

"It is clear the Glasgow 2014 organisers have put athletes at the heart of their decision making to ensure they have the best possible competition experience.

"I wish Marc Austin and Grant Sheldon the very best for their plans to compete at Strathclyde Park in 2014, in front of a home crowd and no doubt inspiring Scotland's next generation of athletes to go for gold."

Austin, 17, was a member of the British mixed relay squad which won the ETU European Junior Triathlon Championships, and said: "Strathclyde Park is a special place for me because it was where I won bronze at the junior triathlon and ultimately led to me representing Great Britain at the European Junior Triathlon Championships in Spain, where I was part of the mixed relay winning team.

"It was a huge honour to meet Sebastian Coe today and the experience of meeting him and hearing how Strathclyde Park will be used at the Commonwealth Games has given me even more ambition to represent Scotland at Glasgow 2014."

Sheldon, who achieved two podium finishes at the British Triathlon Junior Super Series, was also impressed: "I live within five miles of Strathclyde Park so it would be an absolute dream come true to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth Games so close to home.

"My performances have been improving consistently and I am working hard to ensure that continues over the next three years to give myself the best possible chance of competing at Glasgow 2014."

Located just 11 miles from the Athletes Village, Strathclyde Park will have 2,000 temporary seats for the Commonwealth Games, with specialist facilities also being installed on a temporary basis to meet requirements.

Legacies left will include improvements to the triathlon facilities at the Park both for training and major events.

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