Melissa Reid Claims Gold in Hyde Park
Not even a year has passed since Cornwall's Melissa Reid secured her Paratriathlon World Championship crown in Hyde Park. Last weekend she was back to compete in the Olympic course at the World Paratriathlon Series event.
Accompanied by her guide Melissa King who trains out of Newquay, the two Melissa's emphatically secured gold, crossing the line with over a minute gap in front of the second placed athlete.
Melissa says "To be back in London was amazing especially after racing here last year. It really meant a lot to win where I gained my World title and where my first ever paratriathlon race took place in 2012."
Melissa had a 4.16-minute handicap on one of her main rivals, Joleen Hakker from the Netherlands. This is due to the new factoring system within the visually impaired category. This meant that Melissa had no choice but to go fast from the start.
In a perfectly calm and relatively warm Serpentine the hooter went off and the two Melissa's had a clear 750m swim the whole way around the lake, catching Joleen Hakker who was already half way around the swim course. Melissa's other main rival and fellow GB teammate, Alison Patrick, wasn't far behind. They managed to over take the Dutch in the first transition with Alison coming into T1 as they were leaving on the bike.
After an competitive 20km bike leg the British no.1 secured a minute lead over Alison Patrick and got off the bike only 1 second ahead of the Dutch duo. The third and final leg was a 5km run. After the first lap Melissa got into a good rhythm and settled into a steady pace, gaining a little time on the British and over two minutes on the Dutch.
Melissa recounts, "We came into the finish straight knowing we had over a minute lead on my next competitor. This meant I could really soak it up and enjoy the moment in front of the cheering crowds."
"Thanks to everyone in Cornwall for being so supportive, particularly my sponsors who make it all possible: Town and Country Nissan, At-Your-Pace, Oliver Hughes Physiotherapy, Cycle Logic, Saucony, Mako Wetsuits, Tank Tandems and the Cornwall Sports Partnership."
Melissa Reid will be aiming to defend her European Paratriathlon title at the European Championships in Austria on the 21st June. You can follow her inspiring journey to the 2016 Rio Paralympics by visiting her website www.melissareid.org.uk