Emily Tapp wins first Games medal
Australian para triathlete Emily Tapp has won her first Commonwealth Games medal after just three years of competing in the sport.
Tapp, who was coming third in the final lap, caught up with compatriot Lauren Parker in the finishing chute, overtaking to claim silver 1:45 behind England's Jade Jones, who finished in 1:11:07.
"There's some really talented athletes out there. This really just goes to show that you really can do anything," Tapp said after her win at Southport Broadwater Parklands.
"I loved hearing the roar of the crowd when I was coming in at the end there, and to see all my family and friends from the NT (Northern Territory) supporting me."
Born on a remote cattle property in Katherine in the Northern Territory, Tapp became a paraplegic after a campdrafting accident in 2011.
After years of rehabilitation, the bubbly 25-year-old found that her love of sport competition could still be achieved, turning her attention to the fast and furious sport of triathlon.
Four years after her devastating accident, Tapp won her first para triathlon - the PT1 class at the 2015 OTU Oceania Paratriathlon Championships completing the 750m swim, 20km bike ride and 5km run in a time of 1 hour 27 minutes and 36 seconds.
Following her win, and with no para triathlon in her class, Tapp was selected to represent Australia at the 2016 Rio Paralympics in athletics in the 400m wheelchair class.
"I started triathlon in 2015 and at the end of 2015, I’d made the switch (to athletics) because I knew my class wasn’t going to Rio," Tapp told GC2018.com.
"I spent the majority of 2016 training for athletics with my coach and I also dabbled and did a few triathlons as well, just to keep my ranking, I was also unsure if everything would go ahead."
Unfortunately, things did not go to plan for the Canberra based athlete, having to withdraw before the 2016 Paralympics after suffering burns to her leg.
It was a big setback, however it helped Tapp turn her focus back to triathlon where she earned her automatic nomination to GC2018 with an impressive victory at the 2017 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
"It was a big goal of mine, especially after not having competed at Rio, and so I wanted to really focus in on that," she said.
"Not for the glory and the goal of winning, that’s always the greatest part, but it was mainly proving that the hard work that I do before and, preparation with my coaches’ shines.
"And that’s exactly what world championships were for me this year."
Tapp was named in the Australian Para Triathlon squad of six, alongside Bill Chaffey, Scott Crowley, Nic Beveridge, Sara Tait and Lauren Parker.
Beveridge and Chaffey also finished on the podium in the men's event, claiming silver and bronze behind England's Joseph Townsend.
Making its debut at GC2018, the para triathletes competed over the sprint distance of 750m swim, 20km bike (hand bike/tandem), 5km run (racing wheelchair).
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