Paratriathlon enjoyed a memorable debut on Copacabana during the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games. Now, through British Triathlon’s Tri4Tokyo campaign, the search is on for the athletes who may have the potential to become medal winners themselves at the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
Triathlon contributed four medals to Paralympics GB’s superb tally this summer through Andy Lewis’ PT2 gold, Lauren Steadman’s PT4 silver and a double medal in the PT5 category with Alison Patrick’s silver (guided by Hazel Smith) and Melissa Reid’s bronze (guided by Nicole Walters). These athletes, together with the majority of their teammates, are already back in training for Tokyo as we begin the search for those to join them on the plane to Japan.
Andy Lewis, a through-knee amputee, joined the British Paratriathlon Talent squad in March 2014 following a Talent ID event. Making steady progress over the first year, in 2015 he became a member of the UK Sport Lottery Funded World-Class Performance Programme, learning his trade as a triathlete and collating a number of noteworthy performances on the way. In 2016, Andy put his experience and hard work to good use to take ETU European and ITU World titles before that glorious gold in Rio.
Alison Patrick, a visually impaired athlete, had been an international runner before attending a Talent Identification event with British Triathlon in 2011. Having first been unsuccessful she went away and worked hard, returning in late 2013 as a stand-out athlete. Her attitude has proved to be invaluable as she has since gone on to take two ETU European titles (Geneva 2015 and Lisbon 2016) and two ITU World titles (Edmonton 2014 and Rotterdam 2016) before taking a superb silver in Rio.
Tri4Tokyo is looking for athletes who have the potential to have an impact on the medal table in Tokyo 2020, into the 2024 cycle and beyond. The first event of the campaign will take place in Loughborough on 4-5 February.
NOTES: Six paratriathlon categories were contested in Rio but we are now looking for athletes across ALL male and female categories, with the anticipation that all categories will be contested in the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
British Triathlon will continue to run Paratriathlon Talent Identification events focussed on Tokyo 2020 throughout the next two years with the aim of having the strongest team possible in the sport’s second Games. Any athlete interested in staring the journey is encouraged to do so as soon as they are able to as the route to international success will take an increasingly long time as the sport continues to develop across the world.