By David Peddie on 22/04/12 at 12:31 pm
British athletes defied the heat of Eilat to win four gold medals across the Paratriathlon classifications.
Iain Dawson (TRI-6), Faye McClelland (TRI-4), Jane Egan (TRI-1) and Charlotte Ellis (TRI-6) all defended or regained their titles and are now multiple European Championship winners.
But the gold was shared out across the nations: There was double success for Italy as Andrea Bozzato and Michele Ferrarin claimed victory in TRI-2 and TRI-3 respectively and Martin Schulz won gold in TRI-4 on his International Triathlon debut.
Yan Guanter (FRA) and Francesc Sola Garcia (ESP) were also winners in TRI-1 and TRI-5.
For British trio McClelland, Egan, and Ellis it was their third European title in a row. McClelland, who finished ahead of Russian duo Anna Bychkova and Alena Kaufman, said: "It was really hot. That was the main concern for me as I don't cope too well in the heat.
"I raced Alena in Beijing and so I was kind of fairly confident I could beat her. But the other lady I've never raced before. I just thought I'm going to have to race as hard as I can and do a good time for me and see how I go.”
Charlotte Ellis (pictured) added: "I'm really pleased, it was a really hard race. I started the run and thought I was going to faint, I was all over the place. But I actually seemed to get better doing the run.
"We've done a huge PB today on a hard course."
Dawson, who was the first Brit across the line, reclaims the title he won in 2010. He said: "I'm pretty relieved as I had a shocking season last year from start to finish, after such a great year in 2010.
"Everything that could have gone wrong did and I was wondering if that was going to carry on.
"But it was a well planned and well executed race today and I'm really pleased."
The story of the day was the arrival of Martin Schulz (GER) on the International Triathlon scene. Making his debut, Schulz (pictured above) stormed the course, crossing first in little over an hour. The former pro-swimmer said: " I'm very happy as it’s my first time in International triathlon so this is unbelievable.
"I can't believe it. I know I could make a good race. I did my best and it was enough."
For Sola Garcia (ESP) this was also his third European title in a row and he said: "I feel really good. The race was hard and GB were pushing really hard on the bike.
"In second transition I overtook him and in the last part of the running I did my best and I am the winner."
Find more details about this event - 2012 Eilat ETU Triathlon European Championships