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Former Royal Marine Joe Townsend has won gold for England after winning the first Commonwealth Games Para-triathlon.
Joe, a former Royal Marine, lost both his legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2008 at the age of 19. He has now followed on successes at the Invictus Games to claim his first gold medal at a major games.
Still feeling pretty surreal but so happy to have won the first @GC2018 Paratriathlon goldð¥ Itâs an honour to represent England and feel proud to be able to contribute to the medal count. Big thanks to all those that support me and enable me to chase these dream moments #CG2018 pic.twitter.com/YzVTr54zew— Joe Townsend (@Joetownsend1664) April 8, 2018
Coming from behind following the swim, Townsend gradually moved through the field, delivering a deserved gold medal for Team England, producing his best to take top spot above Australia’s Nic Beveridge and Bill Chaffey.
“It was my perfect race. What I planned to do in my head happened on race day, I kept the gap smaller than I ever have done on the swim.”
“The swim is my weakest discipline and I know I'm one of the strongest hand cyclists and pushers in the field, so coming out of T2 in the lead, I knew the race was mine. I just had to keep my cool. This is absolutely the highlight of my career."
Joe Townsend speaking to British Triathlon
'It makes all the hard work worth it.'— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 7, 2018
Here's what Joe Townsend and Jade Jones had to say after winning gold for @TeamEngland in the men's and women's #GC2018 Para-triathlon.
â¡ https://t.co/QG2YuuKcq1 #bbcgoldcoast pic.twitter.com/jOq73tgIW1
Joe first got into triathlon when he first completed the Ironman UK triathlon in July 2011. He has since competed at the Ironman World Champions ships, finishing second in the disability category in Kona, Hawaii in 2012.
At his home Paralympic Games, Joe carried the Paralympic flame into the London 2012 stadium as part of the opening ceremony, making a dramatic overhead entrance to the arena suspended by wires. Joe went on to claim 4 gold medals at the 2014 Invictus games and competed at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro.