Dave Ellis wins first Commonwealth Games PTVI gold with supreme performance in Birmingham
One year on from the mechanical that ended his Paralympic gold charge, England’s Dave Ellis B3 was able to put his Tokyo 2020 disappointments firmly behind him on Sunday morning, scything through the Sutton Park course in Birmingham with guide Luke Pollard to win the first ever PTVI Commonwealth Games gold.
The swim was near-perfect, the bike was incident-free, and the margin of victory after a tough 5km run was over five minutes to exciting newcomer Sam Harding B3. The rising Australian talent had put three consistent, strong segments together to finish with silver ahead of experienced compatriot Jonathan Goerlach B3.
“Obviously the stress of something like Tokyo happening again means to have done that feels amazing,” said a relieved and happy Ellis afterwards. “We didn’t know what the gap was in the water but we caught Gerrard so we knew we were going well. To get through a major Games and do what we needed to do is great and we can’t wait for Paris. The crowd takes away one of your senses because the noise was amazing all the way around the bike course, i’ve never heard anything like that.”
Gerrard Gosens B1 (AUS) was the first man in the water as the sole B1 athlete after South Africa’s David Jones’ withdrawal, and he set about the difficult task of the 750m swim with no other athletes to pace off. Nearly three minutes later the B3 athletes got away, and it was Dave Ellis who again produced an outstanding swim, his time of 9m 46s giving him a 35-second advantage over compatriot Oscar Kelly B3 who was 30 seconds ahead of Sam Harding and the leader had 70 seconds over Gosens by the time they had all emerged from Sutton Park lake and climbed the long ramp to transition.
Oscar Kelly suffered a puncture on the first lap and even though he was able to make it to the wheel station on the edge of transition, the time it took to get back underway effectively ended any chances of a medal for the rising talent.
Ellis surged away, every pass through transition and roar of the crowd seeming to spur him on but remaining firmly focussed on avoiding any trouble. Behind him, the race for the podium places began to take shape, Jones, Goerlach and Harding together and preparing to take on the 5km medal-hunt run.
Gunning was a lap back, the unfortunate Kelly taking the bike bell just as Ellis was pulling on his run trainers, and three minutes back it was suddenly Australia’s Harding alone and chasing the silver. Goerlach, Jones and Gosens were now battling for the bronze, but it was the experience of the Australian that shone through, pulling further clear of his rivals with every stride to secure bronze, Jones and Kelly crossing for fourth and fifth respectively.
“Since January, working with my guide Luke, it’s been going from strength to strength,” said Sam Harding. “We raced Dave Ellis in A Coruna and that was a good test and knew we had some things to work on coming here. He brings the standard of Para triathlon up and up, I think competing against the best will always get the most out of yourself. Credit to him for OTVI being at the Games here and I’ll do my best to get it back on the calendar for 2026!”
Full results can be found here.
03:56 - 31 Jul, 2022
09:56 - 30 Jul, 2022