New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS) scholarship holder, Lauren Parker, enjoyed a triumphant return from injury after recording two dominant victories at the UCI Para cycling Road World Cup staged in the Belgian coastal city of Ostend.

The 35-year-old, who plans to compete in both the Para cycling and Paratriathlon events at the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games, added the gruelling 49.25km hand-cycling event’s gold medal to the one she won earlier in the meet for the WH3 classifaction’s19.7km individual time trial.

Parker, who won the Paratriathlon silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, and who is a multiple world champion in that sport, displayed her trademark courage – which is summed up by the Kia Kaha tattoo inked on her forearm, which translates to Forever Strong – by gritting her teeth to fight through the pain from an injury she reportedly sustained in a training accident last March.

Her handcycle’s footpods came loose at high speed, causing Parker’s legs to drag along the road. She gave an insight into the effort her victories required via an Instagram post which also revealed the confidence boost the victories have given her.

“So happy to get a win at the UCI Para cycling Road World Cup in Belgium after a tough couple of months, and with a broken body,” she wrote. “This has definitely renewed my confidence.”

Crowning a spectacular overall performance was Parker’s effort to help secure the relay gold medal after she joined forces with fellow Aussie Alexander Welsh, and Jetze Plat of the Netherlands.

Daniel Lane, NSWIS

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