Swim, Bike and Rerun: Five of the best at 2012 World Paratriathlon Championships


Great Britain returned from the Paratriathlon World Championships in New Zealand with nine medals including five golds in 2012.

With paratriathlon having been announced as a Paralympic sport for Rio 2016, a competitive field of 109 athletes from 21 different countries headed to Auckland for the World Championships in 2012.

Despite this competitive field, it didn’t stop Great Britain recording their best result from a Paratriathlon World Championship as they topped the medal table with five gold, three silver and one bronze medal.

Of the nine medals, three came in the female TRI-1 (wheelchair) category. This clean sweep of the podium saw Karen Darke come first ahead of Jane Egan and Elizabeth McTernan.

Darke, 41 at the time, was a double silver medallist from the London 2012 paracycling events and this World Championships was her international debut.

Above: Karen Darke took gold on her international debut in Auckland.

Egan was the defending champion, however, could do nothing to prevent compatriot Darke from storming to victory by over ten minutes.

Faye McClelland and Clare Cunningham also recorded a one-two in the female TRI-4 (arm impairment) category.

Defending champion McClelland was able to retain her world title as she crossed the line two and half minutes ahead of Cunningham, with fellow Brit Lauren Steadman finishing in fifth place.

Britain’s men claim three golds between them in New Zealand, with Steven Judge winning the male TRI-3 (les autres) category to defend his title by over a minute.

Above: Faye McClelland was able to defend her World Championship crown in 2012.

James Smith was the only other British athlete in the race, and he finished in fifth place, less than five minutes behind Judge and only two minutes off the podium.

Competing in the male TRI-5 (moderate leg impairment) category, Matthew Emmerson made a successful ITU Paratriathlon World Championship debut with gold. 

The former rugby player won a close-fought race to win by seven seconds from Frenchman Yan Guanter.

Iain Dawson reclaimed the World Championship title that he won in 2010 in the male TRI-6 (visual impairment) category.

Guided by Luke Watson, Dawson recorded the fastest swim and bike legs on his way to a 35-second victory.

Racing in the female TRI-6 category were Melissa Reid and Charlotte Ellis. Reid recorded the fastest swim leg and finished the race to win silver, with Ellis finishing fourth.

Great Britain also had three men racing in the TRI-1 category, with Joe Townsend, James Goddard and Darron Shields finishing in sixth, eight and eleventh respectively.

In what was a very close race, Townsend missed out on a podium finish by less than thirty seconds, with a minute and a half separating him and second.

You can view all the results from the 2012 Paratriathlon World Championships on the button below.


The 2012 Paratriathlon World Championships were staged as part of the ITU Grand Final in Auckland, and the remainder of the Grand Final and conclusion of the 2012 World Triathlon Series will be recapped in a further Swim, Bike and Rerun.

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