Lauren Steadman put the disappointment of Rio behind her to secure a brilliant triathlon gold.

Steadman came home 41 seconds ahead of American Grace Norman in the women’s PTS5 category, while ParalympicsGB team-mate Claire Cashmore, another former swimmer turned triathlete, completed the podium in bronze. In the men’s PTS5 race, George Peasgood took silver behind Germany’s Martin Schulz.

Steadman missed the podium on her first two Games appearances as a swimmer and arrived in Brazil five years ago as a two-time world champion and hot gold medal prospect. However, a mistake in the swim, when she headed in the wrong direction, ultimately cost her gold to Norman.

This time it was a flawless performance as the former Strictly contestant and Celebrity SAS winner both dared and won.

Lauren Steadman won a brilliant gold to make up for Rio disappointment

“That’s massive redemption,” she said after clocking 1:04:46, 41 seconds clear of 2016 champion Norman.

“I was devastated after Rio, I was really destroyed, I didn’t go anywhere near my bike, my shoes or my swimsuit for seven months. My coach told me: ‘You’re not done yet and keeping going’. I put all my faith in him and he got me there.

“It’s been hit and miss over the last four years, some races I’ve won, some I’ve narrowly missed out on.

“This wasn’t a given, they were two really strong girls and they’ve performed phenomenally.

“Before Rio I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders and it really got to me. This time I knew the pressure was there but because Rio was a terrible experience, I was determined to just enjoy this regardless of whether I got a medal or not.”

Cashmore, still a newcomer in the sport, admitted frustration after picking up an in-race penalty but hinted she would be targeting a sixth Games in Paris.

Claire Cashmore joined Lauren Steadman to make it two Brits on the women's PTS5 podium

“Right now it’s a bit raw, I’ve got some thinking to do,” she said.

“It’s a bronze medal at the Paralympics, I’ve got to take the highlights from that and be proud. It’s my first Games as a triathlete, I did the same in Athens as a swimmer and went up the ranks.

“I don’t think my performance would have been like that if certain things hadn’t happened in the race. I’m in the best shape of my life and there was a lot more in me today, it just wasn’t meant to be.

“I wasn’t happy with the penalty, they normally give you a warning and they didn’t. It’s done now, Grace and Lauren had a fantastic race and that is triathlon.”

Peasgood led his race through the swim and bike - his strongest element - but was caught by Schulz on the final lap in the 5km run and finished 45 seconds back.

George Peasgood will be back on the bike later in these Games for the road cycling time trial

However, he won’t have long to enjoy his podium moment, as he seeks a medal in another sport in Tuesday’s cycling time trial.

“Everyone is gunning for the win, there are five or six people that could be on the podium and everyone is pushing for the gold,” he said.

“Being here is a massive success after the last couple of months, getting here was all I could ever want and getting a medal is just crazy.

“There were 100 percent moments when I thought I wouldn’t be here. After a race in Yokohama I had a bone stress in my ankle. I had six weeks without any running and I was on the anti-gravity treadmill and focusing on swim and bike training.

“There have been times when I’ve been pretty bad physically and mentally.

“It’s was one day, one race. Alex (Yee) and Georgia (Taylor-Brown) showed that in the Olympics, as soon as I saw those medals I knew it was possible for me.”

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