People

Joe Townsend’s biography, net worth, fact, career, awards and life story

IntroBritish athletics competitor
Is Athlete 
From United Kingdom 
Type Sports 
Gendermale
Birth 27 March 1988, Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Age:32 years
Star sign Aries

Joseph ‘Joe’ Townsend (born 27 March 1988) is a British paratriathlete who competes in the PTWC classification. Townsend has won European and world medals as well as becoming Commonwealth Champion in 2018. He represented Great Britain at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, where he finished sixth. Townsend has won the GBR Paratriathlon National Championships for four consecutive years- 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. He lost both legs whilst serving in Afghanistan, after stepping on an IED in 2008. Joe Townsend is based in Eastbourne, England where he was born.

Personal life

Townsend was born and brought up in Eastbourne, England. He has a wife and child. Townsend is a UK Sport Lottery Funded paratriathlete and was based at the Loughborough Triathlon Performance Centre before he moved back to his hometown of Eastbourne after the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.

Military service

Townsend served in the 40 Commando whilst in the Helmand province of Afghanistan during Operation Herrick VII. On the 8th February 2008, he stepped on a Taliban improvised explosive device in a field in the Upper Gereshk Valley whilst leading his patrol (from Delta Company) back to FOB Gibraltar. The base, built in 2007, was nicknamed ‘the mouth of hell’ by Taliban fighters and Townsend was one of 14 to be seriously injured there. He was then taken to Camp Bastion (where he underwent 14 hours of live-saving surgery), before being flown to the Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham, where, what remained of his right leg was treated and left leg was amputated as it could not be saved. Townsend spent a total of five and half months including 6 weeks in intensive care at the hospital.

Rehabilitation

In July 2008, Townsend left the hospital to go to the Headley Court a Defense Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey. He spent a total of 3 years at the centre, learning how to use his new prosthetic legs, whilst also undertaking further surgery at the hospital, receiving over 50 operations to date. At the rehabilitation centre, he was encouraged to compete in the Ironman Triathlon – 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and 26 miles of running. The triathlon had never been completed by a disabled athlete at the time.

Sporting career

Having taken up paratriathlon in 2011 as part of his rehabilitation, Townsend went on to complete the Ironman UK triathlon in Bolton in July 2011 and then in 2012, he competed at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii, where he finished second in the disability category. Townsend’s first taste of international triathlon came in 2012 at the Eilat ETU Triathlon European Championships where he won a bronze medal. In 2013, he competed at his first GBR Paratriathlon National Championships, finishing 2nd. He also won a bronze medal at the 2013 Alanya ETU Triathlon European Championships. Townsend competed in the Invictus Games in 2014 and took home four gold medals from the 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m disciplines on the athletics track. He also took part in the cycling and power lifting events. The 2014 season also saw him win a silver medal at the Yokohama ITU World Paratriathlon Event and three bronze medals at the Kitzbühel ETU Triathlon European Championships, GBR Paratriathlon National Championships and the Madrid ITU World Paratriathlon Event.

Townsend achieved further triathlon success in 2015 winning two silver medals at the GBR Paratriathlon National Championships and the Besançon ITU World Paratriathlon Event and a bronze medal at the Iseo – Franciacorta ITU World Paratriathlon Event. He made his Paralympic debut in triathlon at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, finishing sixth in the men’s PT1 event. The 2016 season saw Townsend win a gold medal at the GBR Paratriathlon National Championships a silver medal at the Penrith ITU World Paratriathlon Event and two bronze medals at the Lisbon ETU Triathlon European Championships and Besançon ITU World Paratriathlon Event. He won his first global medal with a bronze at the ITU World Championships in Rotterdam in 2017 along with another gold medal at the GBR Paratriathlon National Championships and silver medal at the Edmonton ITU World Paratriathlon Series.

Townsend represented Team England at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, winning a gold medal in paratriathlon at its first time featuring in the Games. His success continued into the 2018 triathlon season as he made the podium in all of six of the competitions he entered that year winning gold at the GBR Paratriathlon National Championships and Eton Dorney ITU Paratriathlon World Cup, silver at the Tartu ETU Triathlon European Championships and bronze at the Yokohama ITU World Paratriathlon Series, Iseo – Franciacorta ITU World Paratriathlon Series and ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast. Townsend was able to deliver several top five finishes in 2019 including victory in the PTWC Men’s races at the GBR Paratriathlon National Championships and the Tokyo ITU Paratriathlon World Cup.

Paratriathlon Competitions

The following list of results. Unless indicated otherwise, the competitions are paratriathlons.

DateCompetitionRank
2019-09-14Valencia ETU Paratriathlon European Championships6
2019-09-01ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Lausanne4
2019-08-17Tokyo ITU Paratriathlon World Cup1
2019-06-28Groupe Copley World Paratriathlon Series Montreal4
2019-05-27GBR Paratriathlon National Championships1
2019-04-27Milan ITU World Paratriathlon Series5
2018-09-15ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Gold Coast3
2018-07-28GBR Paratriathlon National Championships1
2018-07-19Tartu ETU Triathlon European Championships2
2018-06-30Iseo-Franciacorta ITU World Paratriathlon Series3
2018-05-28Eton Dorney ITU Paratriathlon World Cup1
2018-05-12Yokohama ITU World Paratriathlon Series3
2018-04-07Gold Coast Commonwealth Games1
2017-09-15ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Rotterdam3
2017-08-28GBR Paratriathlon National Championships1
2017-07-28Edmonton ITU World Paratriathlon Series2
2017-05-13Yokohama ITU World Paratriathlon Series4