Our very own Melissa Reid becomes Double World Champion!
Cornwall's Melissa Reid had her most successful competition to date, bringing home the gold in both the World Aquathon and World Paratriathlon Championships which took place in Hyde Park, London over the weekend.
The twenty-two year old swimming teacher from Mount Hawke, Truro, also won the European and British Championships earlier this year. Melissa races in the Tri6 category (visually impaired) and competes with her guide, Nicole Walters, who is a Great Britain age-group triathlete from Bath. The pair have to be tethered on the 750m swim, cycle on a racing tandem for the 20km bike course and are again tethered on the 5km run.
The best athletes in the world turned out to the event, and the paratriathlon had its biggest field to date. Over 5,000 spectators lined the course cheering on the athletes. Also racing within the championships were the Brownlee brothers and Elite Female World Champion Non Stanford.
Melissa beat her main rival, Susanna Rodriguez of Spain into second place in the triathlon, finishing in a time of one hour, 13 minutes and 24 seconds. In third place was fellow GB athlete Charlotte Ellis.
Melissa says, 'I can't believe I'm now the World Champion; it's been an incredible year for me. In 2011 I raced in Hyde Park and finished second, it's fantastic to win gold two years later in front of a massive home crowd.
'I had a solid swim, and held my lead on the tandem, despite the slippery course. We then managed to pull away on the run, setting a PB time. I couldn't be happier right now. Thanks to everyone for the support, especially those who came along to cheer me on.'
Melissa planned her season to peak at the World Championships, and this clearly showed on the day. Her coach, Allan Reid, has been working hard with Melissa to set a number of goals to achieve before the 2016 Paralympics in Rio.
Mr Reid says, 'I couldn't be prouder of Melissa. Everything we're doing is working towards Rio and it's really good to see Melissa performing so well having only been in the sport for two years. We will have a month off, and then will create a plan for the 2014 season.
'We're grateful for the encouragement we are receiving from everyone in Cornwall, and we couldn't be where we are without Melissa's supporters At-Your Pace, Cycle logic, Oliver Hughes Physiotherapy, Cornwall Sports Partnership, Tank/matrix Cycles and Saucony.'
Melissa was one of several Cornish triathletes from Gyllyngvase Surf Life Saving + Triathlon Club competing in London, with her 16-year-old sister Courtney-Lee, Lowenna Hawkey and Kieran Townsend competing in the 16-19 age-group race and Rebecca Walters in the 20-24 age category.
Congratulations Melissa from everyone at the Cornwall Sports Partnership!