25 October 2018

Landmann set for international Paratriathlon debut in Madeira

After an appearance on the Ellen Show and experiencing viral fame last year, Josh Landmann is making his international debut this weekend at the Paratriathlon World Cup.

Landmann is a relative newcomer to the sport, initially taking part in the Superhero Triathlon last year with his father and a friend.

A few months later the 23-year-old was invited to join the British Triathlon Talent Squad and has trained consistently since January of this year.

“I just loved the challenge of it (Superhero Triathlon), and the satisfaction of finishing,” explained Landmann, who appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show before Christmas after a YouTube video of him completing a Tough Mudder challenge went viral.

“I emailed British Triathlon and Alasdair [Donaldson] invited me to the talent identification weekend. And that was it, I just went from there.

“I’d never been in a racing wheelchair before that talent ID weekend. But my chair has come on loads since working with my coach Ian [Thompson]. That’s his real specialism.”

After a swift journey to the elite levels of the sport, Landmann is the youngest male athlete lining up at the Madeira Paratriathlon World Cup in Funchal this weekend.

This is just the latest step in a journey for an athlete determined not to let any barriers stand in his way.

Landmann broke his neck diving into a swimming pool in 2014, resulting in partial paralysis, yet despite the nature of his accident hasn’t had any trepidation about getting back into the water.

A competitive swimmer throughout his time at Lancashire’s Rossall School, Landmann has continued to develop it into his strongest discipline - posting the fastest swim time at the National Championships earlier this year.

“It was through all my rehabilitation,” added Landmann, who cites British paratriathletes Joe Townsend and Mark Conway as key figures in the sport he looks up to.

“I did hydrotherapy which was quite important and is quite a big thing for spinal injuries.

“I do remember the doctors saying that they didn’t know whether I would want to get back into a swimming pool, obviously after what happened.

“But for me it was just a matter of ‘is this going to get me better’, and you’ve just got to do it and get on with it.

“Swimming is where I make up most of my time. Cycling is where I need work; a lot of my training recently has focused on my power output on the bike.

“People like Joe [Townsend] are getting eight to ten minutes on me on the bike. I’m coming out of the water just ahead, but he just annihilates me on the bike.

“It definitely pushes me on to go up against these guys who are doing so well internationally.

“Knowing that they were once in the same position as me, makes me want to just keep pushing, and lets me know that I can get up to the same level as them.”

Triathlon is Landmann’s primary focus currently, with selection for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics taking place next season, however a winter Paralympic Games is also on the cards.

Landmann won the British National Championships for Giant Slalom in March 2017, after just 20 days of sit-skiing experience.

He added: “At the moment triathlon selection for Tokyo 2020 is my aim next season.

“If I don’t make Tokyo then next season I might do a ski season after triathlon has finished and see what happens.”

By Marthe de Ferrer

Photo credit: Ben Lumley

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