Townsend eyes Tokyo 2020 Paralympics after brave Rio debut ends in exhaustion

Joe Townsend
Joe Townsend

Eastbourne’s Joe Townsend has his sights set firmly on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games after pushing his body to the limit at Rio.

Townsend received treatment as he collapsed at the finish line of the Men’s PT1 triathlon at the Rio Paralympics last Saturday.

In his debut Games Townsend, 28, came sixth in the para-triathlon last Saturday - an event that saw competitors swim 750m, hand bike 20km and wheelchair race 5km.

Townsend was stretchered away by medics for treatment following his brave effort.

He said: “I gave it everything I had and I don’t think you can ask for anything more.

“I am absolutely fine now. I just put it all out there on the course and suffered with exhaustion at the end.

“It was an extremely tough competition, it is what you would expect at paralympic standard. I gave everything and I had, no complaints.”

Townsend served with the Royal Marines in Afghanistan and lost both his legs in 2008 when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

He added: “I don’t think there are many sports where you can push yourself this hard.

“I suppose it comes back to my military background. I chose the Royal Marines because it was a tough regiment and I think that is why I thrive on the triathlon.

“I need to have a few weeks to let my body recover and spend time with friends and family.

“I’m going to enjoy that, enjoy looking back at what I have achieved today and where I have come from over the last eight years.

“My mind is now set on Tokyo and I’m looking forward to the next cycle.”