Experienced Ellis lands scintillating triathlon gold at Birmingham Commonwealth Games

·3-min read
Ellis, 35, and Pollard powered across the line over four minutes ahead of their nearest rivals
Ellis, 35, and Pollard powered across the line over four minutes ahead of their nearest rivals

By James Toney in Birmingham

Dave Ellis ran his own redemption arc to score a brilliant triathlon gold at the Commonwealth Games.

One year ago the 35-year-old athlete from Derby arrived at the Tokyo Paralympics as red-hot favourite for gold alongside guide Luke Pollard.

But the pair were left devastated after a chain broke on their bike, by the time it was fixed all medal hopes had evaporated.

They rebounded to win the world and European titles before Ellis broke both his arms after tripping over an errant dog lead.

But, thankfully, bad luck didn't come in threes and there were no dramas in Birmingham as they took control of this race from the opening swim. They cruised clear on the bike and then hammered down their advantage in the concluding run.

They powered across the line over four minutes ahead of their nearest rivals from Australia, their winning time 57:39.

"This is unbelievable after everything that happened last year, it's the missing medal from my collection," said Ellis.

"I'm so happy that we were able to do what we needed to do, I didn't want to go through the feeling we had in Tokyo ever again and this is the complete polar opposite.

"I always had the belief and confidence in us. I broke my arms at the right time and I had plenty of time to recover, it just left me a little bit weaker in my swimming for a while.

"Mum and Dad didn't get to come to Tokyo and having them here is so special. They go to all my races but I've never seen them so excited.

"We didn't know what the gap was, we just wanted to keep the pressure on. There is always stress and anxiety over the bike, not just because of what happened in Tokyo, but I was very happy to get into the run."

Ellis and Pollard have a symbiotic partnership - so perfectly in sync on the course and off it, with a canny knack of finishing each other's sentences.

And there are few more popular members of the team here in Birmingham, with Ellis's partner Clare Cashmore - an eight-time Paralympic medallist - watching with tears in her eyes in the television commentary box.

"Last year we said we had to put the Paralympics behind us and this was the big focus for this year," said Pollard,

"We just went full gas the entire way and I feel a bit less fresh than I'd probably like. The crowd was so loud and we were just trying to get around in one piece."

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