University of Bristol: Bristol student takes fifth in debut triathlon world champs

Michael Taylor described the Abu Dhabi race – which included cycling the Formula 1 track – as an “amazing experience”, despite battling 32C heat.

The second year University of Bristol medicine student races in the PTS4 classification. This was his first world champs after finishing eighth in the Paralympics earlier this year.

“The swim and the bike went really well,” Michael explained.

“I was a bit nervous because of the heat, as that really got to me in Tokyo, but it didn’t really affect me until the run.

“I made a few mistakes but generally I think the race went well and I’m looking forward to getting racing again next season.”

The World Triathlon Para Championships in Abu Dhabi on Friday featured a 750m swim in Yas Island Marina, followed by a 20km cycle on the F1 racing circuit and a 5km run.

“Abu Dhabi is a pretty cool place. I’d never been to Middle East before and flying into the desert, seeing all the skyscrapers and the F1 track was really exciting,” Michael said.

“The hotel was full of elite triathletes – it was kind of the Premiere League of triathlon – and it was just nice to get out into some hot weather after rainy Bristol!”

As Michael heads into the triathlon off season he will bring his training down from the usual 18 to 20 hours a week.

He said: “It will be good to back off a bit and spend some more time with my friends. Fitting all the training in around university can be tricky particularly when I’m on placement – but it’s generally okay, I just get up early!”

Following its postponement last year due to Covid-19, this was the first Paratriathlon World Championships since the 2019 edition in Lausanne, Switzerland.

This year Great Britain won four medals.

Claire Cashmore successfully defended her world championship crown, with Dave Ellis and guide Luke Pollard also coming out on top in their classification.

Fran Brown came away with silver in the women’s PTS2 championship and Alison Peasgood and guide Brooke Gillies took bronze in the women’s PTVI classification.

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