Great Britain’s paratriathletes produced a dominant team performance to win three golds, two silvers and two bronze medals in their first ITU World Paratriathlon Series race of the season in Yokohama, Japan.
Paralympic Champion, Andy Lewis, was amongst the gold medal winners along with Alison Patrick and Dave Ellis, who both competed in the visually impaired category (PTVI).
Lewis, made a solid start to his 2017 season with a win by nine seconds over USA’s Mark Barr in the men’s PTS2 category. He won the race from behind with a strong 5km run.
Paralympic silver medallist, Alison Patrick secured gold in the women’s PTVI along with her guide Nicole Walters. She said: “I had a good, solid race and felt really strong on the bike. [It was] good confirmation of winter training.” Paralympic bronze medallist, Melissa Reid and her guide, Hazel Macleod claimed the bronze medal in the same race.
In his first international paratriathlon since 2014, the 2013 World Champion, Dave Ellis and his guide, Jack Peasgood enjoyed some close racing at the start of the challenging, technical bike course before pulling away and finishing with a strong run to take the gold.
Ellis said “I felt a bit nervous before the start but once we were through the swim, felt like we were back in to racing mode and enjoyed the rest of the race. Not knowing how we would go against our competition was a bit of an unknown but it is good to have got the first race done.”
In the women’s PTHC category, Paralympian in track athletics, Jade Jones, made an impressive triathlon debut with silver, just losing out to Wakako Tsuchida from Japan. Both Lizzie Tench and Joe Townsend performed well for 4th place finishes in the same category.
Jones said: “I’m really pleased to have come second. It’s a great start to my triathlon career and more than I could have expected going into the race. I’m looking forward to the next one!”
In the new PTS3 category, Ryan Taylor produced a strong performance to win silver: “I’m very happy with second in my new category. I would have liked a better swim but very pleased with my transitions, took it carefully but hard on the bike with the wet surface and felt great on the run.”
Despite being sent the wrong way on the first lap of the bike, George Peasgood showed his growing maturity by entering T2 with a two-minute lead. George maintained the lead until the final 400m of the run, when he was overhauled by Hammer (USA) and Yalchik (RUS). He said: “Coming in 3rd after a good winter shows the performance gains I have made and it’s exciting for the rest of the year.”
Paratriathlon Head Coach, Jonathon Riall commented: “It was a really strong team performance from everyone, which after such a break from Rio and various changes to the sport format, has certainly settled a few nerves and given people a great platform to build in for the rest of the season.”