Joe Townsend

Joe represented Great Britain at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. He has won European and world medals as well as becoming Commonwealth Champion in April 2018. He is based from home in Eastbourne.

Joe has won the GBR Paratriathlon National Championships for four consecutive years (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). He also featured at the Rio Paralympic Games, crossing the line in 6th place, and has claimed both ITU World Grand Final bronze medals (2017, 2018) and an ETU European Championship silver (2018).

Joe is a UK Sport Lottery Funded paratriathlete and was based at the Loughborough Triathlon Performance Centre before he moved back to his hometown of Eastbourne after the Rio Paralympic Games. He has a wife and young child. He aspires to work in elite sport as a Strength and Conditioning coach, having become the first UKSCA accredited strength and conditioning coach in a wheelchair.

Joe is a former Royal Marine Commando who lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2008. He had no previous swimming background and got into hand cycling as part of his rehabilitation. Having taken up triathlon in 2011, he went on to complete the Ironman UK triathlon in Bolton in July 2011 and then in 2012, he competed at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, where he finished second in the disability category in a time of 11:35:52.

Joe’s first taste of international triathlon came in 2012 at the European Championships in Eilat. He finished third. The same year saw Joe carry 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.

In 2014, Joe competed at his first GBR Paratriathlon National Championships where he finished 3rd. Joe also featured in the Invictus Games in September and took home an unprecedented four gold medals from the 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m disciplines. He also took part in the cycling and power lifting events.

He achieved further triathlon success in 2015, beating his previous medal at the National Championships to secure silver. Joe also claimed silver at the Besançon ITU World Paratriathlon Event. The following year Joe travelled to Rio to compete in the Paralympic triathlon and finished in a very competitive 6th place.

Major Results

Date Event Position
14th Sep 2019 2019 Valencia ETU Paratriathlon European Championships 6th
1st Sep 2019 2019 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Lausanne 4th
17th Aug 2019 2019 Tokyo ITU Paratriathlon World Cup 1st
28th Jun 2019 2019 Groupe Copley World Paratriathlon Series Montreal 4th
27th May 2019 2019 GBR Paratriathlon National Championships 1st
27th Apr 2019 2019 Milan ITU World Paratriathlon Series 5th
15th Sep 2018 2018 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast 3rd
19th Jul 2018 2018 Tartu ETU Triathlon European Championships 2nd
30th Jun 2018 2018 Iseo - Franciacorta ITU World Paratriathlon Series 3rd
28th May 2018 2018 Eton Dorney ITU Paratriathlon World Cup 1st
12th May 2018 2018 Yokohama ITU World Paratriathlon Series 3rd
7th Apr 2018 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 1st
15th Sep 2017 2017 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam 3rd
28th Jul 2017 2017 Edmonton ITU World Paratriathlon Series 2nd
13th May 2017 2017 Yokohama ITU World Paratriathlon Series 4th
10th Sep 2016 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games 6th
24th Jul 2016 2016 Rotterdam ITU Paratriathlon World Championships 5th
19th Jun 2016 2016 Besançon ITU World Paratriathlon Event 3rd
27th May 2016 2016 Lisbon ETU Triathlon European Championships 3rd
24th Apr 2016 2016 Penrith ITU World Paratriathlon Event 2nd
18th Sep 2015 2015 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Chicago 7th
1st Aug 2015 2015 Rio de Janeiro ITU World Paratriathlon Event 4th
18th Jul 2015 2015 Iseo - Franciacorta ITU World Paratriathlon Event 3rd
10th Jul 2015 2015 Geneva ETU Triathlon European Championships 4th
7th Jun 2015 2015 Besançon ITU World Paratriathlon Event 2nd
16th May 2015 2015 GBR Paratriathlon National Championships 2nd
10th May 2015 2015 Madrid ITU World Paratriathlon Event 4th
21st Sep 2014 2014 Madrid ITU World Paratriathlon Event 3rd
30th Aug 2014 2014 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Edmonton 4th
10th Aug 2014 2014 GBR Paratriathlon National Championships 3rd
21st Jun 2014 2014 Kitzbühel ETU Triathlon European Championships 3rd
31st May 2014 2014 London ITU World Paratriathlon Event 4th
17th May 2014 2014 Yokohama ITU World Paratriathlon Event 2nd
13th Sep 2013 2013 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final London DNF
16th Jun 2013 2013 Alanya ETU Triathlon European Championships 3rd
22nd Oct 2012 2012 Barfoot and Thompson World Triathlon Grand Final Auckland 6th
22nd Apr 2012 2012 Eilat ETU Triathlon European Championships 3rd

He won his first global medal at the ITU World Championships in Rotterdam in 2017 and repeated this finishing position again in 2018. His classification is dominated by two huge Dutch athletes, but Joe is consistently performing as the third best wheelchair athlete in the world. He achieved a stunning gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, where Paratriathlon featured in the Games for the first time ever.

Joe was able to deliver several top five finishes in 2019 including victory in the PTWC Men’s races at the Great Britain Paratriathlon National Championships and the Tokyo ITU Paratriathlon World Cup.

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