Multi-sport medal winner Peasgood looking at double again in Paris

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Swansea Para Series Launch - Friday 12th November 2021 - Swansea - Wales - UK

Photographer Ian Cook - IJC Photography
Swansea Para Series Launch - Friday 12th November 2021 - Swansea - Wales - UK Photographer Ian Cook - IJC Photography

There's no danger of George Peasgood being jack of both trades, master of neither, writes Tom Harle.

The 26-year-old took triathlon silver and road cycling time trial bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, the only British athlete to reach the rostrum in different disciplines.

Only the golden glint is missing from Peasgood’s eyes but they are undeterred from doing the double again in Paris, with the focus on swim, bike, run.

“I think they do complement each other massively,” he said.

“In Tokyo, my eggs were in the basket of triathlon, that was my focus and what I raced to win for.

“The aim was to recover as well as I could and my focus would switch, that’s the way I race best, the way I train. I’ve got to have that one focus.

“The triathlon didn’t take anything away from my performance in the cycling and vice versa, I’ve shown I can compete back-to-back like I did.

“If I qualify and the schedule allows, I’ll do it again in Paris and the focus will be on triathlon.”

Not only did the Essex ace win two medals in three days, but he went on to claim an excellent sixth place in the C4-5 road race, in a field with less impaired rivals.

Peasgood suffered an injury to his left ankle six weeks before his second Games that imperilled his participation and ability to compete for medals.

But the double still made sense, with barely any need to adapt his training programme.

“There were slightly different sessions when I tried to replicate the course in Tokyo, I did a few key sets before going out,” he said.

“Again, that aids my triathlon training. The training goes hand-in-hand really well.

“As a triathlete, I can do sessions day after day and recover really well. That’s one of the massive benefits of being a triathlete, the body can recover very quickly.

Swansea Para Series Launch - Friday 12th November 2021 - Swansea - Wales - UK

Photographer Ian Cook - IJC Photography
Swansea Para Series Launch - Friday 12th November 2021 - Swansea - Wales - UK Photographer Ian Cook - IJC Photography

“I’m used to doing that anyway.”

Peasgood’s happy place was always on two wheels - he was crowned time trial champion on the road in June. It seems the tectonic plates of this triathlete have shifted, however.

“I’ve got a lot of passion for running now, it’s something I do really enjoy,” he said.

“That’s just through training and enjoying it over the years. It gives you the sense of freedom to go out and explore, anyone can grab a pair of running shoes and go out and run.”

Having been the youngest member of the team on debut at Rio 2016, Peasgood will be a senior figure at Paris 2024 and plans to carry on beyond that.

“Rio was a test for me, to absorb and find out what it was about,” he said.

“Tokyo was about pushing on and I’ll be trying to get into my prime for Paris and LA. I’ve got silver and bronze, so I’m going to go there and try to win.”

Unlike the generation before him, Peasgood hasn't experienced a home Games and his category won’t be part of next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Swansea Para Series Launch - Friday 12th November 2021 - Swansea - Wales - UK

Photographer Ian Cook - IJC Photography
Swansea Para Series Launch - Friday 12th November 2021 - Swansea - Wales - UK Photographer Ian Cook - IJC Photography

So the announcement of Swansea as the host city for Britain’s first-ever World Triathlon Para Series event in 2022 takes on an extra significance for the double Paralympic medallist.

His last global race on these shores came at Eton Dorney in 2018 but from next year through to 2024, Peasgood will take on the world in south Wales.

“It’s a big thing to have a standalone event for para triathlon in Britain,” he said.

“It’s about raising the awareness of the sport and using the momentum we’ve got from Tokyo and trying to showcase it.

“The home crowd feeling is special. Friends and family can come and watch me race and it will be amazing to be with all the people who have helped me over the years.”

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