Maidenhead's Crowhurst wins para-triathlon gold for England at Commonwealth Games

Jessica Fullagar (guide) and Katie Crowhurst. Credit: Team England

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Just 12 months after making the switch from para-swimming to para-triathlon, Maidenhead's Katie Crowhurst has been crowned Commonwealth champion, after she and guide Jessica Fullagar raced away from the field in Suttons Park, Birmingham on Sunday.

The 18-year-old was the youngest athlete in the women's para-triathlon field, but she held her nerve - and overcame the pain of a debilitating stitch - to take gold for England.

Crowhurst only turned to open water swimming during lockdown, when the swimming pools were closed because of the COVID pandemic, but, along with running and cycling, she has found a new passion and is quickly establishing herself as one of the best para-triathletes in the world.

Since switching sports in 2021 she's managed a couple of impressive results, finishing second in the British championships, and coming sixth in the World Championships, however, this stand-out performance at the Commonwealth Games is her best result to date.

It capped off a day of three triathlon golds for Team England, with Alex Yee, Sophie Coldwell, Sam Dickinson, and Georgia Taylor-Brown dominating their mixed relay final and David Ellis claiming a convincing win in the men's para-triathlon.

Crowhurst and Fullagar managed to pass Canada's Jessica Tuomela on the third of four bike laps, having gone through the first transition, from swimming to cycling, around a minute behind the leaders.

Once in front she and Fullagar pulled clear to take victory in front of a joyous crowd that included Crowhurst's family and friends. Tuomela struggled to keep pace on the run and was also overtaken by Ireland's Chloe Maccombe, B3, who finished second.

Speaking afterwards Crowhurst said: “We ran past my family, and I started crying, the support has been incredible, and the last lap was amazing,

“To be honest I didn’t know what to expect and, on the bike, I just kept telling myself I had the energy to get through the run. It was great to do that with Jess and the team has been supportive, telling me to keep pushing, and now I just want to take things as they come. I’ve just finished school, so I’ll be focussing on my sport for the next year and Paris is the aim.”

She added: “It was so tough, but I just pushed through each discipline. This is a pinch me moment, I'm just speechless and so excited. The crowds were amazing, I couldn't hear what she [guide Jessica Fullager] was saying to me. I didn't have any expectations, I was just happy to be in the team, I never expected to win a gold. I tried to soak up the atmosphere, but the crowd made so much noise I couldn’t hear a thing.”

“I'm getting my A-Level results and then I’m going to take a gap year and focus on my training. The Paralympics in Paris has got to be my next aim now.

"I wouldn't have been able to do it without Jess - it has been great.

"It's been a really tough competition. It's great to have the support to help push through the pain [of a stitch]."

Her guide, Jessica Fullager, added: This is only our second race together, we raced the British Championships two weeks ago and here we are.

“We were honest with each other in training and Katie just smashed it out there. She dug through the pain, and she should be proud of herself, she has so much potential.”

Visually impaired Para Triathlon involves the athlete being tethered to a sighted guide for the swim and run sections of the race and using a tandem in the bike section.

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