Fran Brown backs Swansea Para Series to raise paratriathlon profile

·3-min read
Fran Brown backs Swansea Para Series to raise paratriathlon profile

Former world champion Fran Brown is backing the first ever standalone World Triathlon Para Series event in Swansea to dramatically increase the profile of her sport.

The best paratriathletes in the world head to south Wales later this summer and will return to the city through to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

The event also gives non-elite athletes the chance to take part and PTS2 star Brown, who grabbed global glory in 2019, wants the race on August 6 to push paratriathlon onto a whole new level in this country.

She said: “It will be brilliant.

“I think it can be a real boost for our sport and give us some exposure that we have been otherwise lacking.

“It is exposure that means people who otherwise wouldn’t know, will see the sport, come into the sport, it will help develop paratriathlon.

“It will show some potential athletes out there who might already be just starting in triathlon, that they can reach the elite side of paratriathlon.

“Tri clubs are really inclusive which is great. But that sometimes means there will be those club members who are competing with those who are non-disabled or don’t even know they can compete in in the para side.

“So I hope it will help grow the sport and bring out even more people who want to take part.”

Brown, who finished fourth in the Tokyo Paralympics last year, first arrived in elite sport through para climbing, becoming a two-time world champion.

But by 2016, she needed a new challenge and with a burning fire to push herself further, learnt to run with crutches and traditional leg braces.

This came after already re-learning how to ride a two-wheeled bicycle, with Brown on her way to eventual paratriathlon glory.

Just three years later in Lausanne, Brown became paratriathlon world champion in the PTS2 event, in only her third appearance at the paratriathlon series finale.

She was heading into 2020 as a serious contender for Paralympic gold, but the 12 month delay, coupled with health issues, threw a spanner in the works.

Brown was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, requiring surgery in August 2020, which kept her out of the pool for 14 months. In many ways just getting on the start line for Tokyo was a remarkable achievement.

Although the disappointment of narrowly missing out on a medal clearly hurt, Brown has kept her performance in perspective.

“I was disappointed in coming fourth,” she revealed. “I’ve always wanted to be the best in whatever I do.

“But I had a rubbish build-up, and a tough year the year before due to my Crohn's.

“I was lucky to just make the start line in the grand scheme of things and I have to remember that.

“But those circumstances were out of my control. I still had hope I could sneak a medal when I was on that start line.

“But I also knew looking at it from the outside, I wasn’t in the form I was in back in 2019.”

Swim, bike, run in Britain will have a 2022 to remember with AJ Bell 2022 World Triathlon Championship Series Leeds on 11-12 June, triathlon and paratriathlon at Birmingham Commonwealth Games on 29 and 31 July, and Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea on 6 August. https://www.britishtriathlon.org/events/major-events

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting