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Medal haul for Brits at first World Triathlon Para Series race of the season

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British paratriathletes kicked off the 2024 season strongly as a team of seven athletes came away from World Triathlon Para Series Devonport with seven medals.

Michael Taylor stood on the top step of the podium in the men’s PTS4 race with teammate Finley Jakes finishing third. Taylor led from the off with fastest swim and bike times, while Jakes was in fourth place out of T2.  

As the 5km run unfolded, Taylor remained out in front to finish ahead of Australian Jeremy Peacock, while Jakes put in a strong performance to move up to third place.  

In the women’s PTS4 race, Megan Richter returned to competitive action by winning a silver medal. The Brit was second out of the water but overtook Australian Grace Brimelow on the bike. The pair then traded positions again on the run, with Brimelow taking top spot as Richter crossed the line ahead of France’s Camille Seneclauze to finish second.  

Henry Urand picked up his first ever World Triathlon Para Series medal in just his second race at this level by finishing second in the men’s PTS3 race. He was second out of the water behind eventual race winner Nico Van Der Burgt of the Netherlands. Urand then put in the fastest bike and run times of anyone to close the gap to Van Der Burgt, but was unable to take the lead and crossed the line to take the silver medal. 

A strong swim set Oscar Kelly and his guide Charlie Harding on their way to second place in the men’s PTVI race. The pair exited the water with the fastest swim time and spent the remainder of the race closing the gap to Antonie Perel and his guide, but were unable to pass the French duo, who start the race before Kelly and Harding due to the staggered start in the category.  

In the women’s PTVI race, Alison Peasgood returned to action after giving birth to her son last year and was straight back on the podium with her guide Brook Gillies. The pair finished second behind Germany’s Anja Renner and her guide. Peasgood and Gillies set the fastest time of anyone on the swim but were unable to close the gap on the bike and run despite strong performances on both. 

In the women’s PTWC category, Mel Nicholls finished third despite a difficult swim. The Brit finished the swim over 40 seconds off the medal places after being dragged off course by the strong tides. She then raced her way through the field on the bike and run to claim a bronze medal, closing the gap to second place Mexican Brenda Osnaya Alvarez in the process.  

On the team’s medal success, British Triathlon’s Head of Paratriathlon, Tom Hodgkinson said: “What a great start to the season. It’s a good basis for us to start building some momentum in the second half of the qualification period, as we head towards Paris. 

“It’s so nice to see Alison back in action after giving birth to her son Logan and to have the family here enjoying their racing and the experience together. 

Michael Taylor and Megan Richter returned to racing as well in the PTS4 class having had some setbacks in training last year and it’s great to see them back at the front of the field. In the same class it’s a great result for Finley Jakes as well, off the back of a strong winter where he’s worked hard. 

Henry Urand also picked up his first podium at this level which is a good result for him, in just his second World Triathlon Para Series race. 

“After a serious setback in the swim, getting dragged away by some strong tides, Mel Nicholls had a fantastic result, coming from the back of the field to the podium through a strong bike and run. 

“I can’t forget Oscar and Charlie either who are growing each race and have put in another good performance to win another World Triathlon Para Series medal after two trips to the podium last season.” 

If you’re interested in paratriathlon and want to learn more about how to get involved, click here. 

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