Dawson hopes to have proved bigger point with paratriathlon display

·2 min read
Dawson hopes to have proved bigger point with paratriathlon display

Norwich's Iain Dawson may not have a Commonwealth Games medal to show for this Birmingham exploits but he's hoped to have proved a bigger point.

At 45, Dawson is one of the veteran members of the Team England squad in Birmingham, winning triathlon and duathlon world titles back in 2010.

However, he is still five years younger than guide Duncan Shea-Simmonds.

And together they recorded a top eight finish in the men's PTVI race for visually-impaired athletes, finishing just over 14 minutes behind England team-mate and gold medallist David Ellis in eighth place.

"I think it's a nice story that proves age doesn't really matter," said Dawson, 27 years the senior of teenage team-mate Katie Crowhurst, who won the women's gold medal.

"The Commonwealth Games wasn't really on our radar because we were focussing on the longer distances, which is probably where my ambitions now are.

"But when the chance came up then I was immediately interested, competing in front of a home crowd at a major Games is something that will never happen for me again.

"I'm so pleased I got the opportunity. We've worked really hard to get on the start-line and I'm proud about that."

However, Dawson admitted the race didn't go according to plan as he completed the 750m swim, a 20k bike and 5km run in 1:12.08.

He added: "I felt really comfortable in the swim, we seemed really smooth and in sync. On the bike we were going quite quick but didn't make huge in-roads and then we had a terrible run.

“I've had quite a few injuries since April and they've really hampered me but I've still been doing some quality training. It just a tough course to be having a bad day.

"Coming up that final hill I was dying a thousand deaths but the crowd made me dig in. I had to focus but I couldn't hear anything Duncan was saying to me.

"The Commonwealth Games is leading the way on integrating para sports and we're lucky to be in a sport that sees us as one event in all their major championships too."

Shea-Simmonds paid tribute to his team-mate but insisted the home crowd experience kept them going on a demanding circuit around Birmingham’s Sutton Park.

"Ian was having a tough day but whenever we went past the crowds we got a bit surge in speed and that's the difference home support makes," he said.

"It's hard to keep emotions in check when you've got support like that but you need to keep your head in the game."

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