16 August 2019
Steadman leads GB medal rush at Tokyo Paratriathlon World Cup
Three-time Paralympian Lauren Steadman admitted her performance at the Tokyo Paratriathlon World Cup took even her by surprise as she claimed gold in just her second race of the year.
The Rio 2016 silver medallist triumphed in the PTS5 classification to claim one of three golds won by Great Britain after the event was changed to a duathlon due to water quality tests.
Steadman edged out compatriot Claire Cashmore to top spot on the podium as they completed a GB one-two, with the 26-year-old taking the tape in 1:03:20 at Odaiba Marine Park.
And despite the late change to the format, which meant the event was no longer a Paralympic qualifier, Steadman was more than satisfied with her showing in Tokyo.
“I think the performance out there was a bit unexpected,” Steadman said. “I came out here to have fun and have a really hard race. I really enjoyed it.
“There was actually quite a few people on the course which was nice. We came here to have an intense race so the format didn’t really matter to me.
“It was more about getting the intensity right. I think the bike leg was my strongest part of the race although I am happy with how it all went together.”
GB finished the event with seven medals in total as triple world champion Dave Ellis matched Steadman by clinching gold in the PTVI category alongside guide Tim Don.
Lauren Steadman claimed gold in Tokyo
Ellis said: “I’ve not really done much duathlon racing before so I was trying to work out the pacing and trying not to go too hard from the front and I’m pleased with how we adjusted to the conditions.”
Commonwealth champion Joe Townsend had earlier opened GB’s gold medal account after dominating the PTWC race to secure first by over a minute from his nearest challenger.
“It was quite an eventful race for me,” Townsend said. “I woke up and found out about the change in format but I feel like we prepared for anything that could happen so that didn’t really phase me.
I didn’t plan for a puncture to my wheel in my race chair but I pushed through 2.5km on a flat tyre, gritted my teeth and got through it.
“I got on to the bike knowing where my strengths are and pushed hard on the bike to get into first place and then luckily my flat had been fixed by T2 so I pushed on and managed to win the race.”
Elsewhere, Paralympic bronze medallist Melissa Reid and her guide Elle Twentyman won silver in the women’s PTVI race after strong run leg to finish behind Canada’s Jessica Tuomela.
World silver medallist Fran Brown also finished second in the PTS2 category after crossing the finish line clear of bronze medallist Liisa Lilja of Finland as American Danz Hailey took gold.
Meanwhile, George Peasgood showed his class to pinch bronze in the PTS5 category, while Jade Jones-Hall finished fifth place in the PTWC classification.
Steven Crowley finished eighth in the PTS4 category, where Russian Mikhail Kolmakov won gold, while Hannah Moore withdrew from her race as Kelly Elmlinger took victory.
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