Claire Cashmore was gracious in victory at the Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea as she described her sadness at her rival USA's Grace Norman suffering a mechanical issue on the race and being unable to finish, writes Milly McEvoy.
The two regularly battle it out for the top positions alongside fellow Brit Lauren Steadman, who is taking a break from the sport, with the 34-year-old prevailing in Swansea.
The two had come out of the swim with identical times before Norman took a six second lead due to a faster transition but disaster struck on the bike for Norman as Kidderminster’s Cashmore kept her focus to claim the win in 1:05:35.
“It's pretty amazing having a victory on home soil and especially to I have all my family here is amazing, you know, they didn't get to come to Tokyo,” Cashmore explained.
“So, to have that boost at the end and see them in the crowd was just a special, I felt quite emotional seeing them.
“It was a little bit bittersweet, Grace out there having a mechanical and it would have been good to have that head-to-head in the race, I feel really gutted for her.
ICYMI: Golds🥇 for @ClaireCashmore and @davellisgb (guide: @LukePollard91) were among the British medal success at the Volvo 2022 #WTPSSwansea as the world’s best paratriathletes descended on the Welsh city 🏴
Catch-up here 📰 https://t.co/pmvOUHPew2 pic.twitter.com/QB8SKEfLXI
— British Triathlon (@BritTri) August 6, 2022
“I was taking it careful on my bike after seeing her having a mechanical, I didn’t want to have the same thing.
“It’s just like, right, get through the bike and get up and run and unfortunately, I had a bit of stitch on the run, which did not help.
“But it was great, and she really keeps me on my toes, stops me from being complacent when I'm back home in the dark winters it's her and Lauren that I think about.”
Cashmore came through the bike safely and well clear of her remaining competitors before completing the 5km run along Swansea’s waterfront in a time of 19:55 to take the win on home soil.
Gwladys Lemoussu of France claimed silver with Spain's in bronze Cristina Miranda Zambrano with Cashmore fastest in all three legs.
It was a first home race for Cashmore since winning bronze in Tokyo behind Steadman and Norman, her eighth Paralympic medal having previously won seven in swimming across four Games.
The reigning European champion defeated Norman at last year’s World Championships and will look to do battle again in Swansea next year as the Volvo WTPS returns after a successful first edition.
She added: “It's brilliant, they were so good out there, particularly on that home straight and you can see that everyone is here, it is so good.
“It really makes a difference. It's just so great to have the World Series in Swansea to show what para-triathlon is all about, hopefully it will inspire more people to get involved.
“I hope next year it is going to get bigger and better, this is the first year we have done it so there were a few things we needed to test out, so I think next year we can smooth everything out and make it hopefully the best para series event on the circuit.”
The Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea - Britain's first ever standalone World Triathlon Para Series event - headlined a week-long para sport festival in the Welsh city, which also included the first ever International Paratriathlon Conference. Interested in getting involved in paratriathlon? Visit the get involved page on britishtriathlon.org