Dave Ellis, born in Derby in July 1986, is a five-time world paratriathlon champion as well as holding five European crowns – and in 2022 he became a Commonwealth Games gold medallist.
Since getting involved with paratriathlon just under a decade ago, the Brit has become one of the leading athletes in the vision impaired (PTVI) category.
He represented the Team GB swim team at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, but after missing out on the 2012 Games by less than 0.1 seconds he took on a new challenge and was introduced to the sport of triathlon at a talent identification day in 2013.
He lifted his first world and European titles just months after and went on to claim both crowns in the 2017, 2018 and 2021 editions, as well as winning his fifth European Championship in 2022.
Ellis, who has less than 10% vision and has a guide with him during all three legs of a race, is rapid through the water given his swimming background, but also has a reputation for his speed on the run, which has meant he has struggled to find a fast enough guide.
That pace was developed in a two-year stint from 2015, when he decided to focus on track running after finding out that the PTVI category wouldn’t feature at the 2016 Paralympics.
Ellis would eventually reach the Paralympics again at Tokyo 2020, this time competing in paratriathlon, but a broken chain on the bike leg led to a DNF.
He put that behind him a year later when claiming an emotional gold in Birmingham at the Commonwealth Games, alongside guide Luke Pollard.
Afterwards Ellis said: “The last 12 months have been pretty hard with just thinking about Tokyo all the time so coming here was just such a relief.”
Dave Ellis record and results
First competing in paratriathlon in 2013, Dave Ellis immediately began racking up titles, claiming victories at the European Championships in Alanya and the British Paratriathlon National Championships, before his first ITU World Triathlon Grand Final success in London.
Further ITU wins came at Yokohama and Iseo-Franciacorta in 2014, either side of podiums in London and the European Championships in Kitzbühel, before he retained his British Paratriathlon National Championship title.
After his foray into running, he returned to paratriathlon in 2016 with another victory at the British Paratriathlon National Championships, and in 2017 followed that up with another Yokohama ITU win and his second European Championships success in Kitzbühel.
After picking up another ITU podium in Edmonton, he reigned supreme at the World Triathlon Grand Final for a second time, in Rotterdam, to cap another stellar year.
The accolades continued to flow in 2018 as Ellis registered ITU wins in Eton Dorney, Yokohama and Iseo-Franciacorta before claiming the third of his European and World titles, in Tartu and the Gold Coast respectively.
In 2019, Dave claimed victory at the British Paratriathlon National Championships again and grabbed ITU wins at Montreal, Tokyo and Funchal in addition to finishing second in Milan. He missed out on a fourth World title as he came home second in the Grand Final in Lausanne.
A DNF at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games was a major disappointment of course, but he did win the delayed 2021 European Championships in Valencia as well as the 2022 event in Olsztyn, either side of his fourth World title in Abu Dhabi.
In 2022 came that special Commonwealths moment in Birmingham as the countdown to Paris 2024 really started, before Ellis finished the year in Abu Dhabi with his 5th world title alongside guide Luke Pollard.
Dave Ellis family
Dave’s partner is fellow paratriathlete Claire Cashmore, who competes in the PTS5 category and won bronze at Tokyo 2020 to add to her eight swimming medals across the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Games.
Dave Ellis gear
Dave Ellis’ bike leg is supported by Parcours wheels, while his kit is supplied by ZONE3. He also has a sponsorship deal with Precision Fuel & Hydration.