The 2013 Paratriathlon World Championships were hosted in London as part of the ITU Grand Final, seeing the Great Britain team win 15 medals.
At the event, six British athletes claimed gold, with a number of them defending their world champion status and Britain’s position as a leading paratriathlon nation.
One of those defending her crown was Faye McClelland in the women’s TRI 4 (arm impairment). McClelland won her fourth world title in a row to top an all British podium with Lauren Steadman and Clare Cunningham finishing second and third.
Such was the dominance of the British trio, there was a larger gap between Cunningham in third and Givens (CAN) in fourth than there was between McClelland and Cunningham.
Having sat out the majority of the 2013 season to study for final year of university, McClelland said on winning her fourth title:
“I had so many doubts, and today more so than ever. I knew I had to work hard on the bike. I eventually passed Lauren [Steadman] on the bike, I didn’t know I’d be able to do that so I’m ecstatic.”
Britain also saw success across the blind and visual impairment categories on home soil with three sets of gold and bronze medals secured.
In the men’s TRI 6b (visual impairment) race, Dave Ellis claimed gold with Iain Dawson in third. American Aaron Scheidies finished over 40 seconds behind Ellis in second.
Ellis was new to triathlon that season having switched sports from swimming after narrowly missing out on qualifying for London 2012.
Following the race, Ellis said: “It was awesome. The support was amazing. We thought we’d have a chance at a medal and that if everything went well we’d be close, and it did go well.”
Melissa Reid won the equivalent women’s race, managing to beat Spaniard and defending champion Susan Rodriguez. Third place in the race was secured by Charlotte Ellis for Great Britain, stepping onto the podium having finished fourth in 2012.
Reid said: “The support was amazing, it’s the first time any of my family has ever come to watch. I hope it means a lot to them.”
Chris Goodwin took the top step on the podium in the men’s TRI 6a (visual impairment including blind) with Haseeb Ahmad winning bronze for Britain.
There was a further first and third combination for Matthew Emmerson and George Peasgood in the men’s TRI 5 (moderate leg impairment) race.
Gold for Emmerson saw him defend the title he won in Auckland in 2012, with Peasgood finishing on the podium in his first Paratriathlon World Championship.
Jane Egan secured a hattrick of TRI 1 (wheelchair user) World Championship wins having previously won in 2010 and 2011 and finishing second in 2012.
She crossed the line a minute ahead of compatriot Karen Darke, who won the 2012 race, to see a British one-two.
On reclaiming her title in London, Egan said: “This is such a big race to be able to win in, it’s amazing. I got silver last year so I’m absolutely thrilled. I think my bike was probably really one of my best.”
British athletes Eleni Papadopoulos and Steven Judge both took silver in the TRI 3 (les autres) women’s and men’s races respectively.
Judge was the defending champion, however, was beaten by Italian Michele Ferrarin in London; whilst this was Papadopoulos’ first and only international paratriathlon race.
Four other men represented Great Britain in London in 2013. Phil Hogg and Joe Townsend both raced in the TRI 1 (wheelchair user) category, Hogg finished fourth on his World Championship debut whilst Townsend recorded a DNF.
Competing in the TRI 4 (arm impairment) category, David Hill finished fourth with Chris Frost 11th.
In total, the British team of 19 athletes finished with 15 medals, including 6 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze at this home World Championships.
The 2013 Paratriathlon World Championships took place at the ITU Grand Final that year in London, and the remainder of the action from the event will be covered in a subsequent Swim, Bike and Rerun as we recap on the best of British action in years gone by.