British paratriathletes Andy Lewis and Melissa Reid both picked up bronze medals at the Madrid ITU World Paratriathlon Event yesterday (Sunday 10 May), while teammate Joe Townsend just missed out by finishing fourth.
Lewis, who is a single leg amputee, had arguably the best race of his career in the PT2 classification (definitions below). Competing in a highly competitive event, he was beaten by the reigning world and European champion, Vasily Egorov (RUS) and Italy’s former world and European champion, Michele Ferrarin.
Reid won bronze in the PT5 classification for visually impaired athletes. She and her guide, Mel King, finished third behind local favourite, Susana Rodriguez (ESP) and Joleen Hakker (NED).
Joe Townsend faced a tough field in the PT1 event, including multiple champions, Jetze Plat (NED) and Bill Chaffey (AUS). Returning from shoulder surgery earlier, Townsend was characteristically tough on the challenging course.
James Smith finished sixth in the PT3 event to round off the British results.
The British squad was smaller than it might have been due to next weekend’s British Paratriathlon Championships in Llanelli. The results of the South Wales event will decide selections for 2015 major championship events, including the World and European Championships.
Madrid marked the third of ten rounds of the ITU World Paratriathlon Event series. The rounds offer ranking points that help secure starting slots at major Championship events.
Paratriathlon sport class definitions:
PT1 – Wheelchair users. Athletes use a recumbent handcycle on the bike course and a racing wheelchair on the run segment.
PT2 – Athletes with comparable activity limitation and an impairment of, but not limited to, limb deficiency, hypertonia, ataxia and or athethosis, impaired muscle power or range of movement. In both bike and run segments, amputee athletes may use approved prosthesis or other supportive devices.
PT3 – As above with less severe impairment.
PT5 – total or partial visual impairment competes with a guide.
(Image: British Triathlon / James Mitchell)