Chinan para-triathletes Emily Tapp, Lauren Parker and Bill Chaffey claim medals


Bronze medalist Lauren Parker and silver medalist Emily Tapp of during the medal ceremony for the women’s PTWC Final on day three of the the XXI Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, , Saturday, April 7, 2018. Picture: Dean Lewins’s para-triathletes snaffled three medals across two incident-packed races at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

might have dominated placings at the Southport race but England bagged the golds as Jade Jones won the women’s race and Joe Townsend the men’s.

World champion Emily Tapp, from Katherine in the Northern Territory, grabbedsilver in the women’s event while Lauren Parker, who led at one stage, took a dramatic bronze medal.

The 29-year-old Novocastrian had a tumble in the finishing chute and tipped onto her back,but that was not going to stop her.

She rose again to applause from the crowd and powered on the the finish line to take third.

It was no less dramatic in the men’s race which saw Tamworth-born Bill Chaffey take silver behind England’s Joe Townsend.

Chaffey, a former triathlete whobroke his back, roared into silver but was forced to finish the cycle one-handed after a spill.

It was his best international result after he finishedfourth inRio 2016.

Well done Joe Townsend for the first ever Com Games Para Tri Gold for ENG, Nick Beveridge the local boy for the silver and Bill Chaffey after a crash and a 1 handed hand cycle holds on for silver. Well done boys! #paratriathlon

— Kurt Fearnley (@kurtfearnley) April 7, 2018

For Lauren Parker, it has been a remarkable year.

She was told 12 months ago she had a one per cent chance of ever walking again.

In April last year, during her final preparationsfor the 2017 Ironman Triathlon in Port Macquarie, she wasinvolved in a training accident.

Both her tyres blew as she was travelling at full speed.

“I’ve got a lot of work to do. It took me 10 years to build up my legs to be strong and get to where I needed to be, and now I’ve got to start from scratch building up my arms. I’ll get there,” she told the Newcastle Herald in October.

Now, it is clear she has done above and beyond this, claiming a bronze medal for .

Speaking with Channel 7 after the race, Parker said she was happy with her performance, adding she had only been doing it for a short time.

“There’s a lot of improvement [needed],” she said.

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

Moving forward, Parker said her next major goal was Tokyo 2020.

“I’ve got a couple of years to train for that –Iwant to win gold in Tokyo,” she said.

The Novacastrian finished the Gold Coast race with a time of 1:13:48,which was 2:41 behind first place.

She had a fantastic result in her swim leg with a time of13:31.

She maintained her lead in the bike leg with 38:51, and a cumulative time of 54:12.

Her run result was her slowest, with a time of 18:38.

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