14 September 2018
Trio celebrate paratriathlon world titles on the Gold Coast
It’s all eyes on Tokyo 2020 for Lauren Steadman after she surprised even herself to be crowned paratriathlon world champion on the Gold Coast.
The three-time Paralympian is all set for the Strictly Come Dancing stage this autumn but proved her day job is far from suffering as she clinched the PTS5 gold medal in Australia.
That was not the only success for the British Triathlon team, however, as Hannah Moore secured a world title of her own while Dave Ellis defended his global crown alongside guide Mark Buckingham.
Indeed there was success in every race, with each British athlete that competed earning a place on the podium in a haul that included five silver and two bronze medals.
But only gold was on Steadman’s mind on the Gold Coast, with the former swimmer confident she has plenty more to offer in the three-discipline event after stopping the clock in 1:07:27 ahead of silver medallist and teammate Claire Cashmore.
The 25-year-old twice represented ParalympicsGB in the pool before transitioning to paratriathlon in time for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where PT4 silver was her prize.
Now, the attention switches to Tokyo 2020 and the next Games in two years’ time - at least once her time in the ballroom comes to an end.
I wasn’t expecting to win but I knew I would try my best and it was enough,
“I planned to make the bike leg my strongest but I didn’t get as far away as I wanted to but then I found my legs on the run, so I was really happy,” she said.
“There is still more to come and I have more technique work to do but I’m really chuffed and just want to say thanks to everyone who has helped me get here.”
Similarly to Steadman, Ellis also made his name as a swimmer but the similarities didn’t stop there as he stormed to the title he won in both 2013 and 2017.
The 32-year-old had led through the swim but was caught by Australia’s Aaron Scheidies over a technical bike course during which Spain’s Hector Catala also gained ground.
But the run proved a different story, Ellis dominating transition before laying down a marker in the first 5km to guarantee his visually impaired title in 59:51.
Andy Lewis had to settle for silver on the Gold Coast
“What an amazing feeling. It was a tough race and I wasn’t sure it would happen but I got it on the run,” Ellis said.
“We made the best of the race and stuck to our game plan. The guys went out harder than us but we built through it.”
There was no doubting who would be crowned women’s PTS4 world champion, with Britain’s Moore making the most of a superb 90-second lead after the first swim stage.
Work still had to be done but Moore was more than up to the task as she increased her lead on the bike, her eventual finish time of 1:13:23 nearly 90 seconds clear of the field.
She said: “They were good conditions for me and on the bike I just went as hard as I could to try and create a gap to the other girls and then just hang on during the run.”
It was hot out there and a tough race but I am delighted with the result. I can go celebrate now.
She wasn’t the only one left celebrating however as every British athlete who took to the start line picked up a medal, the first time this has happened at the paratriathlon world level.
Among the medal-winners was Paralympic gold medallist Andy Lewis, just missing out on defending his title but still doing enough to win PTS2 world silver behind the United States’ Mark Barr.
There was also silver for Fran Brown in the women’s equivalent race, while second place in the men’s PTS3 race went to Ryan Taylor.
Alison Patrick came second in the women’s visually impaired race while two bronze medals - for Rio 2016 Paralympians Joe Townsend and George Peasgood - rounded off an emphatic night for the British Triathlon team on the Gold Coast.
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