YOUNG Isle of Wight triathlete Millie Williams achieved her dream of representing Great Britain at the highest level and winning a silver medal at the 2022 World Sprint Triathlon Championships in Canada.

But it could so easily not have happened had she not raised the £2,000 needed to send her to Montreal on a gofundme appeal — which reached £2,525 — and Newchurch business, The Garlic Farm, where she works, which raised cash through a quiz event.

Over a weekend, Island-born Millie, 20, competed in two races — the individual sprint triathlon on the Saturday, finishing tenth overall and a superb first GB woman, followed by the momentous team relay on Sunday, both in the 20-24 age group.

The individual event set Millie up nicely for the following day.

“My preparation going into the events was really good,” she said.

Isle of Wight County Press: Millie Williams in Canada, with her medals and a new friend!Millie Williams in Canada, with her medals and a new friend!

“The individual sprint was extremely competitive. With four ladies having raced at elite level, including the United States’s national champion, it was always going to be super competitive.

“I swam solidly, then worked my way up the field on the bike leg into third place, working together in the front pack, but I couldn’t quite hold on during a really tough run, with temperatures in the mid-30s. “I gave it absolutely everything I had on the day.”

Millie completed the triathlon in 1hr 10mins 46secs — less than two minutes off a medal position. Then she was back out on Sunday afternoon for the mixed team relay of two men and two women, as temperatures continued to soar.

“I was selected for the anchor leg and we came over the line for a silver medal just behind a really great Mexican team,” Millie added.

“I was the fastest GB lady home across all age groups in the relay.

Isle of Wight County Press: Millie flying through the World Championships qualifier at Eton Dorney.Millie flying through the World Championships qualifier at Eton Dorney.

“The feeling of winning silver at my first world championships is still sinking in, I am very proud of our team. I felt every emotion.

“I am over the moon.” Millie’s coach, Simon Pilcher, at Vectis Academy, said her performances were all the more amazing because of a sickness bug she had two days before she raced.

He said: “Millie really had to suck it up and put on her game face to get on the start line.

“Then to go and compete hard and lay it all the line when you’re not 100 per cent fit takes huge courage.

“She can mix it with the top girls in her age group at a major event — even when not feeling her best.

“If she continues with the same attitude and work ethic, Millie will keep getting better and better.

“Millie deserves all the success she had with those two performances. It was fantastic to witness her bring home the relay team silver.”

Millie has always been a keen athlete — running for the Isle of Wight Athletic Club and competing in cross-country and track events.

But four years ago, Millie, of Hewitt Crescent, Newport, switched to triathlon because she enjoyed the challenge of multi-sport racing.

In 2020, Millie achieved the qualifying time needed for the 2022 Island Games, but they were scrapped due to Covid.

However, last year Millie’s coach, Simon Pilcher, at Vectis Academy, suggested she attempts to qualify for the World Championships.

Millie, now a member of the Isle of Wight Triathlon Club, came first in the qualifying event at Dorney Lake, needing only a top four finish.

“Earning the chance to compete in a world championships was something I’ve been training towards,” said Millie, who attended Northwood Primary and Cowes High.

“The generosity of people and local businesses made it possible to fulfil my dream of representing GB at the highest possible level.”