Onto a winner: Kelly and partner Harding buzzing after Montreal silver

·3-min read
Kelly (second from left) and partner Harding (far left) made quite the impression at the World Triathlon Para Series in Montreal (CHRISTIAN MARTIN)

By Ben Hart, Sportsbeat

After a silver at the World Triathlon Para Series in Montreal, Oscar Kelly believes he has found a “winning” formula with guide Charlie Harding ahead of the Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series in Swansea.

Kelly and Harding finished less than a minute behind Kyle Coon, who finished fifth at the Paralympics in Tokyo, in what was another thoroughly impressive performance from the 21-year-old in Canada.

Kelly also finished with the quickest 5km time of all nine participants and is now brimming with confidence ahead of the World Series in Swansea in August which will be the first standalone para event in the UK.

“I don’t know if we’ve had time to take it in really,” said Kelly, reflecting on his podium finish. “Been a bit of a hectic one, it's great, shows we’re both in great form especially ahead of a busy month we’ve got coming up.”

When asked what he's been focusing on most in training, Kelly said: “Getting quicker! For me, I’ve done a lot of gym work to be reliable if that makes sense, so I don’t get niggles so I can train more consistently and then training consistently week in week out, not to be a hero, just to do the same hours every week and not get injured.”

This was the latest pleasing display from Kelly, who finished second in his first ever World Cup event before becoming British champion in his B3 classification, who has also been selected to represent Team England at the Commonwealth Games later this summer.

And turning his attention to Swansea, Kelly hopes that he can inspire the next generation of para-athletes, having only taken up the sport for the first time five years ago.

“To be part of the first stand-alone para event in the UK, it’s awesome, especially coming off the back of the Commonwealth Games,” beamed the Woodford Green-born star.

“It’s going to be insane, two home crowds, having not done a World Triathlon race in the UK, I attended one a couple of years back at Eton Dorney and got a bit of experience there but hopefully it’s going to be nothing compared to Swansea. It’ll be amazing to take part and hopefully inspire some people.

“It’s going to be quite tough, a lot of quick people will be on the start line, I think it’ll be a really tough race especially coming off the back of the Commies, so I think we’ll be looking to do well, wouldn’t mind a podium [finish] and hopefully the crowd can push us to that."

Kelly also spoke in glowing terms about his guide, Harding, and believes his blossoming friendship with the 19-year-old could be a key factor in his future success.

“I’ve tried to push to have slightly younger guides as it’s easier to be mates with them,” explained Kelly.

“If you have that connection when you’re in the race, in the zone, you don’t have to communicate as much, so you can be quicker.

“I think I’ve found a winner here with Charlie.”

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