George Peasgood believes extra year takes him from Paralympic medal hopeful to gold contender

Paralympian triathlete George Peasgood in wetsuit

Saffron Walden triathlete George Peasgood believes the year delay has made him a contender for gold at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. - Credit: BEN LUMLEY/BRITISH TRIATHLON

It may have initially been perceived as a setback but the postponing of the Paralympics by a year might actually benefit George Peasgood.

The Saffron Walden triathlete has revaluated his plans and his goals now would have been impossible had the Tokyo games gone ahead as planned.

Peasgood, who was the youngest member of the GB paratriathlon team in Rio and who is looking for a place in the PTS5 classification , said: "2021 will be better than 2020 could have ever been.

"Things were in a good place and I was going to Tokyo with the aim of a medal but now I really believe winning is achievable.

"Twelve months ago, I might have said winning was possible without really believing in it. Now I can really challenge and be up there in the race.

"I've had a really good year focussing on training and it will be really interesting to see how things sit when competition restarts later this year."

The extra year between the games saw him build up his running, the weakest element of the three for him, and he has been able to target consistency rather than worrying about peaking at the right times.

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And while nobody can predict what the Tokyo 2020 Games will look like, the former Debden Green Primary School pupil says having experience of the whole Olympic circus will be a positive.

The 25-year-old said: "Five years ago, Rio was a learning experience. It was only in 2016 itself that it became a Games I could go to so there was never any huge expectations on myself heading there.

"Now, being a completely different athlete with a new mindset, the way I'm training and performing makes me far more elite than I was back then.

"I'm going as a grown-up as opposed to the 20-year-old I was then.

"Knowing what it's going to be like will be a big advantage for me.

“The Paralympic Games are unlike anything else. The media, the support, the atmosphere are all completely different so it's nice having that knowledge of a first Games to fall back on.”

George is part of the British Triathlon performance programme which is supported by UK Sport and the National Lottery. For more information on George, view his profile at www.britishtriathlon.org/gb-teams/elite-team/athletes

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