Porthtowan's para-triathlon star Melissa Reid described her AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Para Series performance in Leeds as a confidence boost but says there is plenty to work on if she is to earn a second Paralympic medal this summer, writes Paul Martin.

Reid took fourth on her return to competitive action at Roundhay Park in the first World Para Series race to ever take place in the UK.

The 30-year-old, who competes in the PTVI category for visually impaired athletes and is guided by Hazel Smith, finished just over two minutes behind fellow Brit Alison Peasgood in front of 4,000 spectators.

Reid and Smith had not raced together on the global stage since 2017 and the Cornish athlete believes there are promising signs with Tokyo appearing ever-closer on the horizon.

“It was a bit of a shock to the system to be racing again but we had a pretty decent swim and we were happy with the bike,” she said.

“Leeds is quite a technical course, which makes it more interesting, and the support on the run was really nice.

“This race was more about building on what we need to improve, fine-tuning everything and taking it into the British Championships in July and Tokyo in August.

“I’m feeling more confident – with a lot of work to do over the next 80 days.”

A dramatic finish in Rio five years ago saw Reid – then guided by Nicole Waters – take bronze on her Paralympic bow, capitalising on a late slip by American pair Elizabeth Baker and Jillian Petersen to earn the final podium place.

Reid has since switched guide to Smith, who guided Peasgood to Paralympic silver last time out, and the pair believe the extra time afforded to them by the postponement of the Games could work to their advantage.

“I looked at it as a positive, especially with Hazel coming back from having a baby,” Reid said.

“Being in Porthtowan, I loved lockdown. The beach is my back garden and we have all the coastal paths, so it’s a nice place to be.

“I did the Tokyo test event in 2019 and took a lot out of it.

“I don’t think I struggle too much in the heat and though it can be horrendous, I prefer a non-wetsuit swim and I’d rather it was hot than cold.

“In Rio, I looked at it as any other race as I didn’t want to put any added pressure on myself.

“The competition has increased a lot in the past four years so we’ll just focus on ourselves and see how we go.”

The AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Para Series Leeds is the pinnacle of triathlon competition in the UK and is proudly presented alongside Volvo Car UK