Every member of Great Britain Paratriathlon team won a medal at the ITU World Championships on the Gold Coast in Australia. The haul of nine medals included gold medals for Dave Ellis, Lauren Steadman and Hannah Moore.
Ellis, guided by Mark Buckingham won Britain’s first medal of the day in the visually impaired category after he overcame USA’s Aaron Scheidies with a rapid 5km run to the finishing tape. That set the tone for the next few hours, where the British team achieved what Head Coach, Jonathon Riall described as “the most collectively well executed team preparation and delivery to date.”
The number of medals won by the British team wasn’t an indication of easy victories. Today’s races featured almost all of the best athletes in the world, and in the categories that British athletes didn’t win, they made up significant ground on their rivals.
Lauren Steadman, for example not only beat the Paralympic Champion, Grace Norman in the PTS5 category, but she brought teammate, Claire Cashmore with her and relegated Norman to bronze. In the same category, George Peasgood won his first ever global medal and made the dominant favorites Stefan Daniel (CAN) and Martin Schulz (GER) work very hard to catch him after exceptional swim and bike legs.
Joe Townsend, sixth in Rio, has upped his performance in the wheelchair class massively this year. Not only did he win bronze, but he also edged closer to the huge Dutchmen, Jetze Plat and Geert Schipper.
Two of Britain’s Rio medal winners, Alison Patrick and Andy Lewis both won silver. Patrick is adapting to working with new guide, Hannah Drewett in the visually impaired class, and Lewis rode the emotional rollercoaster that has seen his PTS2 class omitted from Tokyo to win another global medal. Also in silver were Fran Brown (PTS2) and Ryan Taylor (PTS3).
Britain’s least experienced team member, Hannah Moore, made an immediate impact with gold, demonstrating Riall’s assertion that this team now has its expectations set very high.
Riall concluded: “Overall this is the most successful outcome for our team in its short history and testament to the continuous hard work from every member of coaching and support staff.”
Lauren Steadman said, “I wasn’t expecting to win but I knew I would try my best and it was enough. I kind of 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. 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.”
Great Britain medals
Gold: Dave Ellis, Hannah Moore, Lauren Steadman
Silver: Fran Brown, Claire Cashmore, Alison Patrick, Andy Lewis, Ryan Taylor
Bronze: George Peasgood, Joe Townsend