Alison Peasgood believes breaking her hand last summer was a blessing in disguise and can help banish her Brazilian demons in Tokyo.

The Stirling-based paratriathlon ace claimed a memorable Paralympic Games silver in 2016 alongside guide Hazel Smith, having been crowned world champion in 2014 and 2016.

Peasgood, whose husband Jack is also a triathlon coach, has suffered four years of ‘frustration’ since that Rio result but was hitting the training hard when the country first went into lockdown in March.

A broken hand halted her progress in June 2020 but Peasgood, who is currently in the process of qualifying for the pushed-back Games, hopes the injury has catalysed her pursuit of Paralympic nirvana.

“I had better consistency than I ever had but, unfortunately, we had a really nasty bike crash on the tandem once lockdown eased, which resulted in me breaking my hand,” said Peasgood, 33, who was born in Dunfermline.

“Six months down the line I am back swimming, but the hand is still quite sore. It was frustrating, the same as the whole situation this year has been. 

“My leg was affected as well, so I couldn’t run and once I got back cycling I was only able to use the turbo because I wasn’t allowed back outside in case I fell off again. 

“But it actually meant that my cycling moved on more than I thought it ever would. I was hitting bike numbers that I never thought would be possible for me. 

“It was frustrating, but with triathlon you can always focus on something else – so that’s what I did.”

Four years ago, Peasgood was narrowly pipped to Paralympic gold by Australia’s Katie Kelly – guided by Michellie Jones – but has gone on to clinch major World Paratriathlon Series victories in Milan, Franciacorta and Yokohama.

And a third European Championship title of her career in 2018 capped a roaring comeback as Peasgood, now partnered by Nikki Bartlett, ramps up preparations for qualifying for Japan.

She admits the conditions got the better of her in Rio but hopes lessons learned from defeat can propel her to going one better if she reaches the Games next year.

Peasgood, who competes in the PTVI category for visually impaired paratriathletes, added: “For me, I don’t think I delivered the race I could have done [in Rio].

“I struggled in the heat that day and I didn’t think I ran to my potential. I was more frustrated with how I had done, than not getting the gold medal. 

“It makes me want to make sure that no matter what happens in Tokyo, I go and deliver the best race that I can and get prepared for the heat.”

Peasgood and Bartlett are in the midst of a hectic training schedule but, like the rest of the sporting world, have had their preparation scuppered by a lack of competitive action.

The duo claimed World Series glory in Milan in April 2019 before winning silver and bronze medals at events in Montreal and Alanya later that year.

Peasgood is itching to get back to the big time and hopes race rustiness will prove no obstacle to ‘flying’ towards her lofty Paralympic ambitions.

“I just can’t wait to race again, because Milan at the start of 2019 was my last real race,” said Peasgood, who worked as a physiotherapist before joining the paratriathlon programme.

“It’s been ages since I’ve done a real triathlon, so I’m just really excited. Especially to get back on the bike, because I feel once me and Nikki get back on the tandem we’re going to fly. 

“That’s what has definitely kept me going. I’ve been working towards that and if I can get to that start line fit and healthy, then we’re in with a good shout to really contend for that gold medal.” 

Alison is part of the British Triathlon performance programme which is supported by UK Sport and the National Lottery. For more information on Alison, view her profile here: