Marlpool paratriathlete David Ellis is on top of the world after the latest superb performance in his highly successful summer of competitive action.
The 27-year-old, who is visually impaired and competes in the Tri 6B section with guide Luke Watson, won his category at the ITU World Paratriathlon Championships, held in London.
Meanwhile, fellow Marlpool paratriathlete Phil Hogg came fourth in the Tri 1 category, in what he described as “the best race of my life.”
Both Phil and David won their respective categories at the European Championships in Turkey, held in June, and the British Championships, held at Liverpool in July.
They are both still relative newcomers to the sport. This was only Phil’s third triathlon, while David made the move from swimming late last year and has five triathlons under his belt.
For David, the triple success has seen him bounce back in magnificent style from missing out on selection for the swimming squad for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
He had previously represented his country as a swimmer at the 2008 games in Beijing.
But that disappointment is well behind him now, after the latest in a series of victories.
He explained: “We led from the front and Luke was saying ‘it’s not over yet, they could still catch us’ when got off to such a good start but we kept the pace up and they didn’t catch us, so you started to realise we had a very good chance.”
David completed the 750m swim, 22k bike ride and 5k run in a time of 1hr,04.15,. He was 42 seconds ahead of Aaron Scheidies in second.
“That was probably the best and fastest I’ve gone across the three disciplines.
“The competition was tough because Aaron has not been beaten in a triathlon for something like 13 years.
“The drizzly conditions were not ideal. It’s supposed to be a summer sport!
“The swim was probably the part of the race that won it for us.
“We did well all through but we had a really good lead coming out of the swim, plus our transitions really went well too.
“We kept up the pace the whole way through and I was really happy to get that win.”
n Continued on page 46
“I suppose looking back, something realy good has come out of that disappointmnent of last year, missing out on the London games. If I hadn’t missed out on a Paralympics spot, I wouldn’t have pushed towards triyng something different and going into paratriathlons.
“There’s nothing major on the horizon in the immediate future but I might compete in a few duathlons that are coming up. I’ll still working with Luke, it works very well for us, and I’ll be training even harder now there are no championships coming up.”
As for Phil Hogg, his fourth-placed finish, in what was still only his third ever triathlon, was only just over a minute behind the winner, Australia’s Bill Chaffey.
He said: “I put in a blinding performance and it was the best race of my life.
“I was out of the water in third, fast on the bike ride and that is the best time ever by a British Tri 1 athlete, so I’ve got to be happy with that. They were horrendous conditions really but I just blanked it out. It was the same for all of us.
“Long term, the aim is still the Rio Paralympics in 2016 but short term I am looking at doing some half marathons in the near future, more low-ley events with less pressure on so I can just enjoy it without so much riding on it.
“I’ve shown a vast improvement since I started triathlons. I’ve won the European and British championships plus fourth in the Worlds and I’ve only been training in the sport since February so that’s massive progress. But I’ve got so much more to give physically and mentally, there’s plenty left in the tank. Now I’ve got some big blocks of training ahead of me in the winter, plenty of hard work and I aim to keep improving.”