Melissa is a Paralympic bronze medallist and a former World and European Champion.
Melissa became ITU World Champion in 2013 and has won the ETU European Championships twice (2013, 2017). She also took bronze in the Paralympics at Rio 2016 and has placed 2nd in several ITU and ETU championships. Melissa won her first national gold at the GBR Paratriathlon National Championships.
Melissa was born in Nottinghamshire and moved to Cornwall when she was ten. She is a member of Gyllngvase club and also works as a swimming teacher. Melissa got into triathlon through her dad, having previously taken part in surfing, swimming and surf live saving. Her swimming background makes her one of the strongest swimmers in the class for visually impaired athletes.
Cycle training is the most challenging aspect for a visually impaired athlete, leading her to spend many hours training on a static turbo trainer to overcome this. She competes with a guide athlete in the PTVI category.
Melissa was first selected for the British Triathlon Paratriathlon squad in 2012 having finished second at the 2011 ITU World Championship Series in London.
She competed for ParalympicsGB at the Rio 2016 Paralympics Games, which was her first Paralympic Games, and she won bronze with Nicole Smith guiding her. In the final stretches of the race they were in fourth place, but Nicole noticed that the American pair ahead of them were starting to fade. Their rivals unfortunately tripped, and Melissa and Nicole were able snatch the bronze medals in a dramatic finish.
Melissa carried her Paralympic success into 2017, claiming gold at the Kitzbühel ETU Triathlon European Championships, she also took home two bronze medals including one at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam. Unfortunately, Melissa suffered a prolapsed disc towards the tail end of 2017 which put her out of contention for 18 months.
Despite the injury, her 2019 return saw Melissa surpassing her 2017 medal tally, taking home two golds at the Besancon ITU Paratriathlon World Cup and the Magog ITU Paratriathlon World Cup. She continued to be no stranger to the podium throughout the year, claiming three consecutive silvers at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Lausanne, the Tokyo ITU Paratriathlon World Cup and the European Championships in Valencia. Melissa also landed a 3rd place finish at the ITU World Paratriathlon Series in Yokohama.