Commonwealth Games: Joe Townsend & Jade Jones win Para-triathlon golds

England's Joe Townsend and Jade Jones won Commonwealth gold in the men's and women's Para-triathlon as the home nations' Para-cyclists dominated.

Townsend and Jones became the first Commonwealth Para-triathlon champions as the sport made its Games debut.

England's Sophie Thornhill and pilot Helen Scott broke their world record to win gold in the women's blind and visually impaired 1,000m time trial.

Scotland's Neil Fachie and pilot Matt Rotherham won the men's B&VI sprint.

That was their second gold on the Gold Coast and meant Fachie equalled the Scottish Commonwealth Games record - held by sprinter Allan Wells and bowler Alex Marshall - of four.

Wales' James Ball and pilot Peter Mitchell took silver, while Scotland's Aileen McGlynn and pilot Louise Haston were third behind Thornhill and Scott.

In the pool, England's Jacob Leach clocked one minute 25.35 seconds to finish fifth in the men's SB8 100m breaststroke final - knocking two seconds off his personal best.

'I still have a long way to go'

In a dramatic men's Para-triathlon race, Australia's Bill Chaffey collided with the barrier allowing Townsend, then third, to pass him before hauling in Chaffey's team-mate Nic Beveridge to snatch gold.

Glasgow 2014 bronze medallist Jones, 22, caught the host nation's Lauren Parker during the final stage - and a late crash meant Parker surrendered silver to team-mate Emily Tapp.

Jones said: "I was always chasing which is tough mentally, but to push through was great. Anybody who knows me knows how much this means to me.

"I have only been doing Para-triathlon for 18 months, and although I have made a lot of improvements, I still have a long way to go."

The inaugural Commonwealth Games Para-triathlon began with a staggered start, determined by athletes' disability sub-class. They competed over a 750m open-water swim, a 20km hand-bike and a 5km run segment on race wheelchairs.

Former Marines commando Townsend, 30, who lost both legs in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2008, added to his 2017 world triathlon bronze after race favourite and five-time world champion Chaffey severely damaged his handcycle in his crash.

That allowed Townsend into the silver-medal position, and he then hauled in Beveridge to win gold.

"I found myself in the lead coming out of [transition two] and I knew others in the field couldn't push past me," said Townsend.

"It seems narrow-minded but I know what my strengths are and it was a dream finish for me."

England's Mark Conway, 2017 world silver medallist, finished fourth, with Northern Ireland's David Kerr in sixth.

In the women's race, Australia's Parker - who was paralysed from the waist down in a crash on her bike last April - seemed to suffer mechanical issues as Jones took the initiative.

A barrier collision in the final straight left Parker, 29, with bronze, as reigning world champion Tapp, who missed the Rio Paralympics after suffering serious burns, took the silver.

"It definitely changed my life and there's two ways you can go," said Parker.

"One way is to just do nothing with your life or to look at the positives and move forward and do what you can with the body you have and that's what I chose - so I'm very proud of myself."

Scotland's Karen Darke, a 2016 Paralympic champion on the road, came fourth with England's Lizzie Tench one place behind.


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