Sporting switch star Lauren Steadman clinches her place at a third Paralympics

Lauren Steadman was successful in South Africa last weekend.

Lauren Steadman was successful in South Africa last weekend. - Credit: Archant

Sawtry star Lauren Steadman has secured her ticket to Rio for a tilt at Paralympic glory.

The 23 year-old met the qualifying mark when competing in the opening ITU World Paratriathlon event of 2016 in South Africa last weekend.

Steadman struck gold in the PT4 category in Buffalo City with a time of 1:13.00 - more than five minutes clear of closest challenger Gwladys Lemoussu of France.

And that was enough to earn a place at her third Paralympic Games after competing in Beijing and London as a swimmer.

Steadman, who has dominated her class with back-to-back world titles in the last two years, said: “The top women weren’t competing in South Africa, so I always planned to keep it steady and ensure that nothing went wrong.

“Meeting automatic qualification was the absolute priority and I’m pleased to have done that.

“The swim was calm, the bike was a little hilly. Overall, it was a great way to start the season.”

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Steadman made the transition to paratriathlon from swimming following the London Games of 2012.

She has since ruled supreme in an event which makes its Paralympic debut in Rio this summer, claiming three successive European titles in addition to her two world crowns.

Steadman also won a test event held in the Brazilian city last year.