CIRENCESTER triathlete Jenny Manners guided Alison Patrick to victory in the World Paratri Championships at Hawrelak Park, Edmonton in Canada on Saturday night.
It was the second world title for Manners – with two different partners.
In 2011 she accompanied another visually impaired athlete Charlotte Ellis to victory in the Beijing World Championships, before taking the European title the following year.
Eliis has now retired from the sport and in only their fourth major international competition together Patrick, 26, and Manners upset the form book by beating the pre-race favourites in the PT5 category, Melissa Reid, also of GB, and Spain’s Susanna Rodriguez.
Patrick and Manners had never previously beaten either Reid or Rodriquez but the duo got it gloriously right on the day, recording a personal best time for the 750-metre swim, 20.4km bike and 5km run of 1hr 09min 49sec.
They were virtually neck and neck with their main rivals heading out on the final run element but proved by far the stronger pairing to beat Reid by 20 seconds with Rodriquez a further minute and a half behind.
It amounts to a changing of the guard at the head of the sport and Manners and the rapidly improving Patrick will now be greatly encouraged as they build up to the Rio Olympics in 2016.
Victory completed a magnificent season for Manners, a member of Cirencester AC and Performance Cycles in Poulton. And she celebrated her 24th birthday last weekend while completing her final preparations in Canada.
As an individual triathlete she finished the 2014 British Triathlon Super Series in third place. In the final open event which counted towards that competition, the British Elite Sprint Triathlon Championships in Liverpool, she went head to head with eventual winner Gwen Jorgensen of the States, who confirmed her status as the World No.1 in Edmonton by taking the Elite Women’s World title.
Manners has this year also had to juggle her academic studies, completing her Masters Degree at Loughborough University.