Devastated Marlpool-based athlete David Ellis says his Rio 2016 Paralympics dream has been in left in tatters, after his event was cut from the games.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the International Triathlon Union (ITU) both finalised the para-triathlon 2016 programme earlier this month with only six of the sport’s ten categories being included.
However, that didn’t include Ellis’ category of PT5 in what will be the sport’s maiden appearance at the Games.
Ellis says the decision to exclude PT5, which is the category for blind and visually-impaired athletes, came as a bolt out of the blue.
He said: “I wasn’t expecting it. I thought that we would get through so I was absolutely gutted when I realised it wasn’t going to be in.
“Everyone I train with is gutted, the same as me. We all can’t believe PT5 hasn’t got in.”
“I thought we would be in because we probably have the second most competitive category at the moment in Para-triathlon.
“We knew the decision was going to be made in October.
“However, we thought it was the following weekend so it did kind of come out of the blue because we thought it was a week later.”
The 28-year-old represented GB at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics, in swimming, and after narrowly missing out on a place four years later at London, he had set a target of reaching Rio.
However, the bombshell of PT5’s exclusion now means those dreams are effectively over.
With regards to his next move, Ellis is unsure what the future holds for him after putting so much into preparing for Brazil.
He added: “I’m not really sure at the moment.
“Obviously I’d put everything into getting to Rio and it’s a bit unknown as to what I’m going to do next and which direction I’m going in.
“I’m training a little bit but I’ve got some important decisions to make.
“TP5 was the one event where I was planning and hoping to put in my best performance.”