For six years, since Beth Potter made the switch from athletics to triathlon, she’s been striving to reach the very top. There were, as she admits herself, numerous doubters that she’d ever succeed.

But Potter had unflinching self-belief that, sooner or later, she’d get there. She was right. She’s now experienced what the pinnacle feels like.

The 31-year-old can now call herself a World Triathlon Championship Series Champion – the highest tier of racing in triathlon – after winning gold at the Abu Dhabi event in March. She’s long been building up to this point.

Having become European champion back in 2019, Potter started making a real impact in World Series events last season, claiming a brace of silver medals plus a bronze in 2022.

So to finally claim that elusive gold, taking the scalp of the likes of Olympic silver medallist Georgia Taylor-Brown and world No.3 Taylor Spivey was, admits Potter, a significant milestone.

“It was definitely the biggest win

of my career,” the Leeds-based

Glaswegian says. “I had another winter behind me of putting in the work and it all clicked.

“I hadn’t even had the smoothest run-up to it because I’d had a few viral bugs so my training hadn’t been as consistent as I’d have liked.

“I knew I was in decent shape and I thought I’d be in the top five and could maybe even make the podium but I didn’t think I could win. So to get the win was a big deal.”

Her victory was predicted by her friend and training partner, Olympic medallist Jonny Brownlee, but while Potter failed to share his over-arching confidence, she knew she was in a good place. While it’s easy to assume the results of these international triathlon events are down purely to the physicality of each individual athlete, there’s far more to it than that, stresses Potter.

With the team dynamics of being a part of the GB team somewhat challenging for the Scot – it’s perhaps unsurprising there’s some friction considering there’s five British women inside the world’s top 30 – Potter knew her mindset, and how she was coping inside the GB squad, had to be addressed if she was to elevate herself onto the top step of the podium.

With Potter never one to leave any stone unturned, she turned to a sport psychologist and that, she believes, is why she’s been able to glean that extra few percent out of herself on race day.

“I’ve been working with a psychologist for a while but over last winter, I really put more emphasis on that,” the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist says.

“I was working not necessarily on the performance side but more on the anxiety I get around racing.

“And it isn’t all to do with the actual racing, it’s also to do with the team dynamics and I’ve really addressed that this year.

“For me, a lot of it was off the field of play in terms of some of the personalities within the GB team. That’s been ongoing for a few years but now, I feel 100 percent comfortable in that environment.

“I now go in with the attitude of I don’t care what you say about me or think about me, I’m just going to focus on racing. I don’t want to be dealing with trivial things when I’ve got much more important things to think about it.

“And then when you get some good results, that helps and it goes to the back of your mind even more.”

Potter’s impressive start to the season continued following her return from Abu Dhabi.

Yet another win, this time in the Arena Games in London, underlined the form she’s in this year before her next outing at the Cagliari World Series event, which begins today, with yet another podium placing within her sights.

However, her recent standard of performance, she is well aware, is something she is going to have to continue over the coming months if she’s to achieve her ultimate goal of making it to the Paris Olympics next summer. Having already become an Olympian – she was part of GB’s athletics squad at the 2016 Olympic Games, finishing in 34th place in the 10,000m final – Potter is laser-focused on making a second Olympic appearance. However, despite currently being ranked fourth in the world, her seat on the plane to Paris next summer is far from guaranteed.

GB’s criteria stipulates that to secure selection, Potter, or any of her compatriots, must be on the podium at both the Olympic test event in Paris in August, as well as finish inside the top three at the Grand Final in Spain the following month.

It is quite an ask, but one that Potter believes she is more than capable of achieving. However, she is also well aware of the dangers of getting too caught up in what will be a cut-throat Olympic qualifying campaign.

The easy way to look at things, Potter believes, is that if she wins races in the coming weeks and months, Olympic selection will look after itself.

“I feel like I’m training really well and I have pushed on again since winning in Abu Dhabi,” she says.

“I try not to over-think the whole Olympic qualifying thing. I know that I’m one of the best in the country and one of the best in the world at the moment.

“So if I can get on podiums and win races, then qualifying for the Olympics will happen for me.

A lot of it is mental too – it’s about believing I belong there and I do believe that I can be on the podium every time now. Abu Dhabi was a peak performance but now, I feel like even if I’m a wee bit off, I should still be right up there.”