By Derren Howard
Eastbourne’s paratriathlete Joe Townsend powered to gold at the first-ever Dorney Lake-hosted ITU World Cup event.
The line-up featured six of the seven medal winners from the ITU World Series in Yokohama, Japan just two weeks ago, and all four of the Team England Commonwealth Games athletes, including gold medal winners, Townsend and Jade Jones-Hall.
Townsend, 30, was at his best as he completed the 750m swim, 20km hand bike and 5km racing wheelchair in a personal best time of 57.43 at the London 2012 Olympic rowing venue as temperatures topped 25°C.
After winning a delighted Townsend said: “The sport just keeps moving on; you can see the fields are stacked and it’s close, hard racing.
“With a lot of guys coming across from different sports to paratriathlon, it means I’ve got to keep on pushing the boundaries and training hard.
“To have my family here today and see me come across the finish line, and for me to see smiles on their faces too is phenomenal.”
Former Royal Marine Townsend began triathlon in 2011. He is an Invictus Games champion and placed sixth at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the men’s PT1 event.