Heanor hero Dave Ellis completed a triumphant return to paratriathlon by winning a gold medal at the ITU World Championships in Rotterdam.
The 31-year-old Ellis, who last won the ITU world title in the visually impaired category in London in 2013, romped home by 12 seconds with his guide, Carl Shaw, who is 37. Their success followed similar glory in the European Championships at Kitzbuhl in Austria in June.
A delighted Ellis said: “We were hoping to win. We knew we were in the top two, and we just managed to hold on until the end. I’m really happy with that.”
The medal was one of eight won by the Great Britain paratriathlon team, who defied wet and slippery conditions, combined with a highly technical course. Gold was also secured by the reigning Paralympic champion Andy Lewis in his category.
Ellis is something of a sporting legend in the Heanor area, having competed at the Beijing Paralympics as a swimmer in 2008. Four years ago, he switched to paratriathlon and won both the world and European titles with his former guide, Luke Watson.
Last year, his classification was not included in the Paralympics at Rio, so he made a temporary transfer to athletics, only to just miss out on qualification for the 5K in Brazil.