Michael Taylor was making up for lost time as he finished fifth in the men's PTS4 at the Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea, writes Milly McEvoy.
The 26-year-old from Barnstaple matched his finish at the World Championships last year despite missing all the 2022 season up to now with injury.
Taylor’s time of 01:03:03 was enough to see him claim fifth place behind winner and Paralympic and World champion Alexis Hanquinquant of France but did finish ahead of Tokyo silver medallist Hideki Uda of Japan.
“It’s great, so good to be back racing, first race of the year, what a first one to come to,” Taylor said. “It’s great to be in Wales, the crowds are incredible, I have family and friends, friends I know from Wales, coming along and they were shouting, so it was nice to have a crowd.
“It's been frustrating; it is always annoying when you have a bit of a niggly injury that keeps coming back and stops you doing the things you want to do.
“It's just been a bit stop-start, I thought I was going to start off in spring really fit and just as the races came on, I got injured.
“Pretty frustrating but all the sweeter now that I have come back and now it's just trying to get a few in and I’m lucky I can get a few in before the season ends.
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
“Next year is when the qualification period for Paris [Paralympics] is so that is an important year. I guess it is a good year to not be racing.”
Loughborough-based Taylor was the first Brit home with Finley Jakes in 11th spot, the pair came out of the swim in second and third place before Taylor pulled away on the bike.
Taylor took pleasure in the run as he completed the twisting 5km course in 19:15 to hold off a late challenge from Uda, whose fast run leg could only see him finish 35 seconds behind Taylor.
He added: “I was quite happy with it; it went a lot better than I expected. I haven’t had the best training this year and as I said it was my first race back to it.
“My swim and my bike, I was happy with, I was expecting the run not to be that great as I haven’t been able to run that much but I was quite surprised with how it went.
“It was nice and technical on the bike, a few sharp turns, bits of cobbles they were a bit interesting.
“It is nice because you could see where people were at on the course, so it was really good fun and in a great position, right on the beach.
“Nice little swim, lots of jellyfish to try and avoid so it kept it interesting.”
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