Bill Chaf­fey com­mits for the long haul

Tweed Daily News - - SPORT - Steve Vi­vian­vian@tweed­dai­

FIVE-TIME para-triathlon world cham­pion Bill Chaf­fey is set to fo­cus his en­ergy on long-course triathlons in lieu of shorter, sprint-based events af­ter win­ning bronze at the Com­mon­wealth Games.

Some be­lieved Chaf­fey, 42, would re­tire from in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion af­ter the Games, but that did not ap­pear to be the case af­ter the Tweed leg­end told the Tweed Daily News he would next race on the Sun­shine Coast in Septem­ber.

In the wake of the Com­mon­wealth Games, Chaf­fey, who has been rac­ing in­ten­sively since be­fore the Rio Par­a­lympics in 2016, will now take his first break from com­pe­ti­tion in more than two years.

Chaf­fey said shift­ing his fo­cus to longer dis­tance cour­ses will help him stay com­pet­i­tive and in­crease his longevity as the ex­tended for­mats suit him much bet­ter at this stage of his ca­reer.

Chaf­fey’s next triathlon, the Iron­man 70.3 Sun­shine Coast, con­tains a 1.9km swim, 90km cy­cle and 21.1km chair.

“For now I’m just happy to get back to rac­ing ca­su­ally and I am en­joy­ing not hav­ing to do it for such a high prize,” he said.

Be­fore he com­petes again, how­ever, Chaf­fey is in a race to fix the hand-cy­cle he dam­aged in a sig­nif­i­cant crash dur­ing the Com­mon­wealth Games Para Triathlon that likely cost him a gold medal.

The crash was a dev­as­tat­ing dou­ble blow for Chaf­fey, with an es­ti­mated $10,000 dam­age be­ing caused to the hand-cy­cle.

“I came out of the crash al­right phys­i­cally but the bike is just a mess,” Chaf­fey said. “Be­fore I can do any rac­ing, I’ve got to fix my bike.”


FU­TURE PLANS: Bronze medal­list Bill Chaf­fey will move to­ward more long-dis­tance com­pe­ti­tion in com­ing events.

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