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23 September 2010, 16:18
West Sussex firefighter Abi Link has returned in a blaze of glory after winning gold in the 11th World Firefighter Games in Daegu, South Korea.
Staged every two years, the games attract thousands of athletes from fire services around the world who come together to compete in over 70 different events over 9 high-octane days.
Abi, currently serving as a Fire Service Training Instructor at Worthing Fire Station, funded the trip herself and carried with her the weight of considerable expectation, not only because of her previous medal-winning success in the Liverpool games in 2008, but also being the sole representative from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.
Abi's hours of training have really paid off, with a fantastic medal-winning streak. Abi won a gold in the indoor rowing, retaining her world champion status, a bronze medal in the open water swim and two silvers - one in the stair run up the dizzying 83 storeys of Daegu Tower and the other in the 'Toughest Firefighter Alive' competition, the games' showpiece event which is carried out in full firefighting kit and tests competitors in a series of gruelling firefighting disciplines.
"As firefighters we all work very hard to maintain our fitness levels, so it is really gratifying to win four medals" said Abi.
"I was extremely proud to represent West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service in such a prestigious event. The World Firefighter Games is not only a keenly contested sporting competition, it is also a fantastic way to meet firefighters from all over the world and forge new international relationships."