Lauren Steadman took gold in the women’s PTS5 category with Claire Cashmore taking bronze, while George Peasgood claimed silver in the men’s race in Tokyo.
The second day of paratriathlon from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games saw men’s and women’s PTWC action ahead of the men’s and women’s PTS5 races featuring Peasgood quickly followed by Steadman and Cashmore.
All the action across both days of paratriathlon saw athletes complete a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run around Odaiba Marine Park.
In the women’s race, Rio champion Grace Norman (USA) set the early pace to open up a big lead during the swim.
Norman was followed into transition by Cashmore, Kamylle Frenette (CAN) and Steadman having established a lead of over 40 seconds.
Having set off in pursuit of the American on the 20km bike course, Steadman was riding in second place at the end of the first lap and had closed the gap to 26 seconds, with Cashmore just over 40 seconds further back and having to take a penalty for a bike infringement that would see her drop back from the front two.
Steadman was catching Norman with every kilometre that passed and had the American within her sights as she overtook her to move into the lead on the third lap. The Brit created a gap of her own in the final kilometres of the bike leg, pulling away from Norman to give herself the advantage heading into the last stage.
Losing a bit of time in transition, Steadman had an 18 second lead over Norman as she started the run, however, was able to increase that in the opening lap of the 5km.
Running clear through the four laps of the run, Steadman crossed the line in 01:04:46 to add gold to the silver she won in Rio. Norman crossed the line 41 seconds later to take silver, with Cashmore joining them on the podium and claiming bronze.
Speaking off the back of winning gold, Steadman commented: “I was devastated after Rio. My coach said ‘you’re not done yet, you need to keep going’ and I put all my faith into him and he got me there.
“I feel as though, actually, I’ve finally got there. There’s 41 seconds between me and silver and in a triathlon that could have gone anyone’s way. So actually each of us stood on that line this morning had done everything we possibly could to take that title.”
The men’s race started a minute before the women with Peasgood the sole British athlete competing. He was up against all three medallists in his category from Rio, however, he took the attack to the entire field from the beginning.
Pulling clear, Peasgood swam alone at the front for the majority of the 750m swim to open up a lead of a minute as he entered transition to start the 20km bike leg.
By the end of the first of four 5km bike laps, defending champion Martin Schulz (GER) had reduced Peasgood’s lead to 34 seconds and was in pursuit of the Brit as the second discipline unfolded.
Riding at the front, Peasgood pushed to ensure that he stayed clear of the chasers as he navigated the 20km knowing he had good runners behind him and the Brit maintained the lead he’d built up as he went through second transition.
Setting off onto the 5km run with a 47 second lead over the German and a lead of over two minutes on Stefan Daniel (CAN), the British athlete was well aware of the calibre of athlete he was racing against.
Schulz caught Peasgood at the start of the second lap of four and set off away from him and into the lead, whilst all the time Daniel was making inroads from behind.
As Schulz increased his lead, the British athlete ran well to cover the remainder of the 5km, keeping a gap between himself and Daniel that he’d gained over the opening two disciplines.
Schulz ran through the remainder of the race to defend his Paralympic title, with Peasgood crossing the line in second place to win himself a silver medal and Daniel taking bronze.
Having won his maiden Paralympic medal, Peasgood said: “Everyone’s pushing for the gold and it’s just about getting to that finish line. Being here for myself was just a massive success after the last couple of months. Getting here was all I could ever want, getting a medal is just crazy.
“I was being given feedback and knew what the gap was and it wasn’t closing, and with one lap to go I knew it was 90 seconds or thereabouts, that’s when I knew it was definitely a possibility. You just push it as hard as you can on that run, so you’re doing all you can anyway.”
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