Peasgood back with a bang in 2022 as para-triathlon takes centre stage

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The para-triathlete claimed two medals at Tokyo 2020 having faced a race against time to recover from injury
The para-triathlete claimed two medals at Tokyo 2020 having faced a race against time to recover from injury

George Peasgood is back with a gold after a 2021 of mixed fortunes that saw him overcome injury to claim two Paralympic medals, writes Jack Lacey-Hatton.

After a whirlwind effort just to make Tokyo 2020, the 26-year-old pulled off an impressive double of paratriathlon silver and cycling bronze in the time trial.

He then secured a European silver only a few weeks later in the paratriathlon, only beaten by Paralympic champion Martin Schulz of Germany.

And then came glory in the recent World Triathlon Para Series event in Yokohama as Peasgood started his 2022 season in style.

Yet despite his successful medal haul, Peasgood revealed his last 12 months on the circuit have not been the easiest ride.

But the Essex athlete, who is based in Loughborough, believes he is now back from his injury stronger than ever and able to face another busy season - which includes Volvo 2022 World Triathlon Para Series in Swansea, Britain’s first standalone paratriathlon race of this level.

“It was obviously an up and down year,” he said. “I’d been managing quite a substantial injury going into the Games.

“I then had two major races after the Games as well, with Para European and World Championships.

“I decided after then, that it was best to make a full recovery by not racing at the Worlds. After what had already been quite a long, gruelling season.

“So post-Games and then into the start of 2022 it has all been mainly about building up my running again, getting back to where I was and increasing my volume of training.

“I’m still not there yet, but it is a gradual process with the fluctuations that naturally come during training.”

Having come through such a hectic 12 months, you could be forgiven for thinking the four-time national champion would be happy to trot out the classic sporting cliché of taking it ‘one race at a time’.

Not a chance with Peasgood. Paris 2024 is already in his sights, where he’ll aim to go one better and bring home his first Paralympic gold.

“I’m massively looking forward to it already,” he added. “You can’t not think about it.

“The cycle is always at the forefront of my mind and obviously the end goal is the Games.

“I’m already thinking about what the course is going to be like, the conditions, the course which may throw up some new challenges as well. Where the triathlon is, is going to be phenomenal.”

Peasgood got his 2022 season off to the perfect start with victory in Japan last month.

And after soaring to glory in Yokohama, he added: “I’ve always been one of the lead swimmers in paratri and to get quite close to the top times was the objective and I ticked that off.

“With the bike, it was a slightly different course with some pretty treacherous conditions with rain, so it was just about being smoothest and safest as opposed to the fastest.

“I hadn't noticed that I was the quickest on the bike as well. But it's usually the run that lets me down and ultimately it doesn’t matter if you are the quickest on the swim, bike or run, you want to get to the finish with the lowest time that's what's important.”

Peasgood won’t have to worry about jet lag for the third leg of the Para Series as the triathlon world descends on Swansea for a celebration of parasport.

He added: “It means a lot to us. I wasn’t able to compete at the World Series in Leeds last year because I had an injury which was obviously pretty gutting so to then have another event just for us in the UK is pretty crazy.

“For it to be a standalone event is even more phenomenal, so I am really looking forward to friends and family being able to come down and watch.

“The last couple of years obviously they haven’t been able to come to all the competitions or any so for them to be able to come support and enjoy the event as well is pretty special.

“I think it's important to highlight the weekend of paratriathlon and parasport as well as there is a multi-sport weekend for para-athletes to go down and try out different sports and to get involved.

"To have triathlon as one of the highlights of the weekend will be pretty overwhelming to be able to have that as one of the main events.

“It’s really special for us as paratriathletes and British athletes to have that event for us.”

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

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