Commonwealth Games: Paratriathlete Lauren Parker wins bronze medal on the Gold Coast


BRONZED AUSSIE: Lauren Parker secured the Hunter’s first medal of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games when she was third in the women’s paratriathlete on Saturday.Less than 12 months after a freak training accident left Lauren Parker paralysed from the waist down, the inspirational 29-year-old has produced a bronze-medal performance at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

It was the first medal for the Hunter of the Goal Coast Games and came after a courageous and inspiring effort by the resilient Novocastrian.

Parker, who has only been racing paratriathlon for three-and-a-half months, led for most of the women’s race at Southport on Saturday as the sport made its Commonwealth Games debut.

She was first out of the water after the 750-metre swim leg then improved her lead in the cycle leg before being passed by eventual winner Jade Jones,from England, in the run leg.

World champion and fellow n Emily Tapp was second.

Read more: Parker makes royal impression ahead of Games debut

Parker crashed as she made her way up the finishing straight but was helped up by course marshals before crossing two minutes and 41 seconds behind Jones for the bronze medal.

“I’m happy with my performance,” Parker said post-race.

“I’ve got to improve the run leg but I’ve only been doing it three-and-a-half months, so there’s a lot of improvement and I look forward to the future.

“I definitely like being chased. I like being able to pull away in the swim and the bike and, as I said, I’ve got to improve the run …I’m happy with my overall performance.

“I had a little accident at the end there but I’m stoked with a bronze medal.”

Read more: Parker named in Games team

She has already set her sights on becoming the Paralympic champion in 2020.

“My next major goal is Tokyo 2020 and I’ve got a couple of years to train for that,” Parker said.

“I want to win gold in Tokyo. There’s a long couple of years of training and racing but I look forward to it.”

Parker was in the final stages of training for the n Ironman Triathlon in Port Macquarie on April 18 last year when both of her tyres blew during a routine training ride and sent her hurtling into a guard rail.

Read more: Newcastle triathlete in fight of life

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