Paratriathlon aces add British titles to collection

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Marlpool’s paratriathlon stars David Ellis and Phil Hogg have continued their golden summer of sporting success.

Fresh from winning in their respective categories at last month’s European championships in Alanya, Turkey, they competed in Liverpool on Saturday in the British championships.

David, in the Tri-Six B category, won his event, as did Phil in the Tri One section, as they both saw off some stiff competition to finish top.

Both have only recently swapped over to competing in paratriathlons.

Previously, David made his considerable reputation as a swimmer who represented his country at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics and Phil had excelled at wheelchair racing and wheelchair basketball.

But the switch has clearly paid off.

David, who is visually impaired and competes with Luke Watson as a guide, explained: “I was pleased with the win because I didn’t do as well as I know I can on the swim and we had a little bit to make up on my nearest rival but we had a really good bike section, probably the best biking we’ve done, to get back in front and stay there.

“It was pleasing to beat Iain Dawson. He’s the world champion and although I beat him in the Europeans, it’s nice to show people - and yourself - that he wasn’t just having an off day and you can do it again.

“To beat the Worlds champion twice in a row is a real achievement.”

Phil Hogg was just as pleased with his display and said: “I thought my performance was pretty good. The course was competitive but not quite as tough as Turkey and although it was hot for England, the heat in Turkey had prepared us all for it. It was only my second triathlon but expectations were raised going into it. Once under way I felt fine.

“All my times were good going into it but it’s about how you handle it all on the day, and I felt like I did that well.

“My swimming has come on so much that it’s probably now my strongest suit.

“The swim and bike sections probably sealed it for me whereas people might think the chair racing would be strongest.”

David and Phil will both be competing in the World Championships in London on September 13 and both now have a hard period of summer training at Loughborough ahead of them.

Phil said: “I’ve got eight weeks of tough training and I feel I can make improvements in all three disciplines.”

David added: “I’ll put in plenty of training over the summer at Loughborough and the focus is going to be all on London.

“But there’s a lot of hard work to do before then!”