Kerr First Northern Irish Paratriathlete to Race at Commonwealth Games

Commonwealth Games PTWC Swim Start

In more typically Australian weather than the individual elite men and women encountered on Thursday, the six paratriathletes in the PTWC men's paratriathlon took to the start line for the debut of their sport at the Commonwealth Games. Taking place this morning over the same technical sprint distance course as the race earlier in the week, the heat would be a factor in this historic race.

world class competition

The small field had huge depth with world class paratriathletes Mark Conway, Nic Beveridge and Bill Cheffey all in contention for medals.

Nic Beveridge (31) was first out of water with a swim of 11:10. England's Mark Conway headed onto the 20km course in second and put in huge effort to close the one minute gap to Beveridge. Bill Chaffey emerged from the water in third but, because of the staggered start, had the fastest swim time of 10:55. Northern Ireland's David Kerr had a challenging swim. In an interview with Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games the 36 year old commented; "(I) couldn't catch the front guys, which I found extremely tough".

townsend proves bike strength

Out on the technical bike course, Australian Chaffey overtook Conway on lap two of the four lap bike course, moving into second place and continuing to close the gap between himself and fellow Australian Nic Beveridge. Chaffey endured a crash on the third lap which saw him lose both a race position and a handle from his bike, getting overtaken by England's Joseph Townsend as he endeavoured to get going again.

Heading into T2 Townsend had broken down Nic Beveridge's lead with the fastest bike split of the race and the two entered transition together. Getting away from transition two first, and never looking back, Joseph Townsend claimed victory and the first Commonwealth Games paratriathlon gold medal in a time of 1:02:39. Nic Beveridge crossed the line in 1:03:28 for silver, with Bill Chaffey, showing huge resilience, holding onto bronze position in a time of 1:04:13.

Commonwealth Games PTWC Finish Line

only the start for kerr

Portadown's David Kerr put in a personal best of 1:12:30 today in temperatures close to 30 degrees to represent Northern Ireland in his first senior championship race, finishing sixth overall.

Speaking after the race, Kerr highlighted how much he enjoyed the experience;

"At the end the heat just exhausted me but I had a good race and enjoyed it."

"It's only the start, I'll have more training...more experiences like this and get better as I go along."

See full race results on triathlon.org.
Pictures: twitter/triathlonlive

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