Para-triathlon star Peasgood eager for Commonwealth success

·3 min read
Para-triathlon star Peasgood eager for Commonwealth success

Paralympic medallist Alison Peasgood is eager for success in Birmingham ahead of the Commonwealth Games after reuniting with guide Hazel MacLeod.

The duo won silver in the para-triathlon PT5 at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro before competing separately in Tokyo last summer.

But after parting ways with Nikki Bartlett following a fourth-place finish at the 2020 Paralympic Games, Peasgood is back with MacLeod once again.

And the 34-year-old from Dunfermline feels relaxed and ready to go with the games less than a week away.

With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games set to inspire people and communities across the country this summer, Peasgood hopes sharing her story will give others motivation to get involved in sport and turn their dreams into reality.

"It feels pretty special to be back on the big stage with Hazel," said Peasgood, who is one of over than 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing her to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science, and medical support.

"I think for me, it is about the experience. I know both Hazel and Brooke Gillies so well.

"I train with them both quite a lot and know them quite well personally, so you just feel relaxed with one another and how the other will respond in certain situations.

"If something happens on the bike, we both know how to react, so that just makes you feel calm, knowing that you do know each other so well.

"The guide I had in Tokyo did not want to continue, but Hazel did, and the athlete she supported last year was not continuing, so there was only one guide at that time, but since then, I have been working with Brooke.

"I think between her and Hazel. It was competitive to see who was going to get selected to represent Scotland.

"It is weird. It feels like I have come full circle with Hazel. 2016 feels like a lifetime ago."

This summer, Team Scotland, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will compromise of over 250 athletes, and having secured her place on the squad, Peasgood is looking for medal success.

Peasgood enjoyed a medal-winning end to 2021 alongside then-guide Gillies, winning bronze at the World Triathlon Para Championships in Abu Dhabi, her fifth world medal.

Sadly, the same could not be said for Tokyo, where Peasgood admits she suffered from stress due to injury concerns and the threat of Covid-19.

She said: "If I am honest, my build-up to Tokyo with injury and the uncertainties surrounding it did not feel like this.

"It felt very stressed, so I have actually been working with a new coach over the winter.

"But then working with Hazel again, I do feel quite calm, and I am just really looking forward to having the experience of a Commonwealth Games."

And to make things even better for Peasgood, she'll be competing in a city she knows well, having studied at the University of Birmingham.

She added: "University is your first time away from home, and it's where you sort of find yourself and discover what type of person you are going to be.

"I actually worked my first job in the West Midlands, so I lived in Birmingham for two years after university as well.

"I have got quite a few friends, and it does feel special.

"My only issue is we are in the Warwick village rather than the Birmingham village.

"The Birmingham village is literally our halls of residents, so that would have been pretty cool."

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