World and European success helped Derby’s Dave Ellis banish Tokyo demons throughout a dramatic 2021, writes Oli Dickson Jefford.
Ellis, 35, was a gold medal contender heading into last summer’s Paralympic Games but a broken bike chain ended his and guide Luke Pollard’s chances in the PTVI category for athletes with a visual impairment.
However, he rebounded with European Championship success in Valencia before claiming a fourth World title in Abu Dhabi.
“It was a pretty tough time after Tokyo,” he conceded.
“I just wanted to prove that we could do it and to have a good performance. It was amazing just to actually put a good performance together and get the result we wanted.
“Also, having something to focus on straight away after Tokyo was quite nice, rather than having to wait another year or six months for a race.
“You could not completely forget about Tokyo but put it to one side and just focus on the Europeans first, and then the World Champs after.
“It was just a case of keeping focus and pushing on, and putting the training in place to put on a good performance.”
After a tumultuous 12 months, focus has now switched to the 2022 season, though his preparation has been far from ideal.
Ellis broke both arms while out running in the winter and was forced to train inside for eight weeks as he regained full fitness - and avoid any further injuries.
However, he is targeting his two home races this year - the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and a brand-new Para Series event in Swansea.
Buzzing to pick up the top spot after a tough race in hot conditions at the @itumultisport World Champs #goldcoast great to start working with @thesweatexperts #sweatexperts #bike #worldcgampionships pic.twitter.com/WMteumK1lI
— David Ellis (@davellisgb) September 17, 2018
He said: “I missed out on London 2012 as a swimmer so to have a home major competition, it’s been a big target and I’m sure the Commonwealth Games will be really special.
“Even doing a World Champs here in 2013 in London, that was awesome, but I’m sure this will be another level. I can imagine it’ll be amazing.
“It might be my only opportunity to do it, so I’ll try and make England proud. I think we’ve got a pretty good team so hopefully it will be a good event for us.
“We’ve had the World Series integrated previously and the World Cup in Eton Dorney before, but having a standalone event in Swansea, it will probably just set the bar of how para triathlon should be, hopefully.
“I think it’ll be a great event for us to have on the calendar and race in for the next few years.”
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