The British Paratriathlon team came away from the Tokyo Paratriathlon World Cup with three golds, three silvers and a bronze medal after the event was changed to a Duathlon due to water quality tests.
It was an exciting one-two for Great Britain in the PTS5 classification and it was Paralympic silver medallist Lauren Steadman who took the gold in only her second race of 2019.
Steadman was going head-to-head with team-mate Claire Cashmore and they were alongside each other for the open parts of the race before Steadman carved out a lead for herself.
She took the tape one minute thirty seconds ahead of Cashmore who took silver in her first Duathlon event.
“I think the performance out there was a bit unexpected,” Steadman said. “I came out here to have fun and have a really hard race. I really enjoyed it. There was actually quite a few people on the course which was nice.
“We came here to have an intense race so the format didn’t really matter to me it was more about getting the intensity right. I think the bike leg was my strongest part of the race today although I am happy with how it all went together.
Alisa Kolpakchy (UKR) took the bronze two minutes and thirty seconds down on Steadman.
Triple world champion Dave Ellis (PTVI) secured gold alongside his guide, three-time Olympian Tim Don, in a performance that saw them excellently execute their race plan.
Ellis and Don came out of T1 with a seven-second lead over Jonathan Goerlach (AUS) and Aaron Scheidies (USA)
The British pair looked comfortable throughout the race and won with a three-second lead over Goerlach. Scheidies took third place twenty seconds down on the winners.
“It was a bit different today,” Ellis said. “I’ve not really done much duathlon racing before so trying to work out the pacing and trying not to go too hard from the front and I’m pleased with how we adjusted to the conditions.”
“I think we were very controlled and we hit the technical aspects of the course and we didn’t want the lead to go too far ahead of us,” Don said. “It was such a pleasure to race with him. I think Dave is going to go on from here and he’s got another level to go.”
Commonwealth Champion Joe Townsend dominated the second half of the PTWC race to secure the gold medal with over a minutes lead.
Townsend’s showed his strength in the bike laps to take charge of the race and only extended his lead when he got into his race chair.
He claimed Great Britain’s first gold of the event after taking the tape with a one minute and six-second lead.
“It was quite an eventful race for me today,” Townsend said. “I woke up and found out about the change in format but I feel like we prepared for anything that could happen so that didn’t really phase me. I didn’t plan for a puncture to my wheel in my race chair but I pushed through 2.5km on a flat tyre but gritted my teeth and got through it.
“I got on to the bike knowing where my strengths are and pushed hard on the bike to get into first place and then luckily my flat had been fixed by T2 so I pushed on and managed to win the race.
Ahmed Andaloussi (FRA) and Joshua Sweeney (USA) finished in second and third respectively.
Paralympic bronze medallist Melissa Reid (PTVI) and her guide Elle Twentyman put in a strong race to win silver behind Jessica Tuomela (CAN).
Reid and Twentyman came out of T2 in third place and entered the run leg needing to catch up 18 seconds.
The pair had an excellent final lap to take second place.
World silver medallist Fran Brown took a solid silver in the PTS2 category after reaching the finish almost 13 minutes ahead of bronze.
Brown had America’s Hailey Danz in her sights for part of the race but she settled into her race strategy and took the silver medal.
George Peasgood excelled in the PTS5 category to come back and take a bronze medal.
The Loughborough-based athlete showed his class to close down the lead in the bike leg before executing an excellently timed run to secure his third place.
Jade Jones-Hall finished in fifth place in the PTWC classification just over 30 seconds behind Lauren Parker (AUS) in fourth place.