Swim, Bike and Rerun: Double gold in Geneva


The 2015 European Paratriathlon Championships were hosted in Geneva, Switzerland, with British athletes winning six medals.

Of the six medals that the team won, two were gold, two were silver and two were bronze. The two golds won by ITU World Champions Alison Patrick (now Peasgood) and Lauren Steadman.

Patrick, competing in the PT5 category, was guided by Hazel Smith as she took two steps up the podium from her third-place finish in 2014.

Having been first out of the water, she was the only athlete to complete the bike leg in less than 30 minutes and set the fastest run time of the race to secure victory.

On becoming European Champion, Patrick said: “We had a really good swim today. That’s where I’m making gains, but we had the fastest bike split, which I wasn’t getting last year so that shows how well Hazel and I are working together.

“It’s amazing to be British, world and European champion for now and Hazel was so happy to win a first major title. It is really helping both of us that we are able to train together. We just know what each other are doing.”

There was further medal success in the race too as Melissa Reid crossed the line to secure the bronze medal.

Britain once again showed its dominance in the PT4 category, making a clean sweep of the podium yet again following a similar feat at the 2013 and 2014 World Championships, and first, second, fourth at the 2014 European Championships.

Steadman defended her European crown, with Faye McClelland maintaining her second-place position on the podium from the year before.

Above: Lauren Steadman topped an all British podium in 2015

Clare Cunningham completed the set finishing third, the same position she’d achieved at the World Championships the previous two years.

Having come from a para-swimming background, Steadman set herself up for the victory by leaving the water 50 seconds before anyone else. She was also the fastest cyclist and runner, allowing her to build on the lead she’d established in the swim.

Cunningham was second into T1, however was passed by McClelland on the bike and, despite only Steadman setting a faster run time, was unable to close the gap to her compatriots.

Like Patrick, Steadman is now British, European and world champion. She added: “I’m really happy to have all of the titles, but you’re never certain about what’s round the corner, you can never settle for where you are.”

Phil Hogg also came back from Switzerland with a medal, winning silver in the PT1. He came second to flying Dutchman Jetze Plat, who retained his European title having won in Kitzbühel, Austria in 2014.

Above: Phil Hogg received silver in Geneva

Hogg was upgraded to silver having initially been awarded bronze, after Geert Schipper (NED) was disqualified for leaving the course and not returning at the point of departure.

In the same category, Joe Townsend finished fourth, completing the run leg in the second fastest time following Schipper’s disqualification.

There was also a fourth-place finish for Andy Lewis in the PT2 category as he missed out on a medal by 20 seconds. Ryan Taylor finished eighth in that race.

Britain’s only other competitors in the European Paratriathlon Championship were George Peasgood and Chris Frost who both raced in the PT4 category, finishing ninth and eleventh, respectively.

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