Joe Townsend

Joe Townsend

Athlete Information

  • Region


  • Date of Birth


  • Classification

    PT1 at Rio

Athlete main content


Royal Marine Commando Joe Townsend lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2008.

He got into triathlon when he completed the Ironman UK triathlon in Bolton in July 2011. He has since completed at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, where he finished second in the disability category in a time of 11:35:52 (2012) and has established himself as one of the best PT1 para-triathletes in the world.

Joe carried the Paralympic Flame into the London 2012 stadium as part of the opening ceremony. He was suspended by wires and made a dramatic overhead entrance to the arena, even though he is actually scared of heights.

At the Invictus Games in 2014 he won four gold medals on the athletics track. He also took part in the cycling and powerlifting events.

At Rio 2016 he made his Paralympic debut in triathlon, securing a sixth place finish in the men’s PT1 event.

He won his first global medal at the ITU World Championships in Rotterdam in 2017 and repeated this finishing position again in 2018 achieving a superb gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, where Paratriathlon featured in the Games for the first time ever.

Joe is a member of the UK Sport World Class Lottery Funded British para-triathlon squad and competes in the PT1 category. He is married and lives and trains in Eastbourne.

Major Results

2018 ITU World Grand Final, Gold Coast, Australia

  • Bronze

2017 ITU World Grand Final, Rotterdam, Holland

  • Bronze

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