By Mike Rowbottom

Jetze Plat of the Netherlands (centre) celebrates his paratriathlon gold medal in the PT1 event at the European Championships in Kitzbuhel today ©ETUHandbiker Jetze Plat from The Netherlands has only recently discovered triathlon, but he bolstered his fast-growing reputation in Kitzbuhel today as he won the European Para-triathlon title in the PT1 section by more than six minutes.

The competitor nicknamed "Superman" finished in the outstanding time of 59min 48sec in the Austrian mountain resort, with Britons Phil Hogg and Joe Townsend taking silver and bronze.

Clearly Plat's thoughts are turning towards the Rio 2016 Paralympics, where triathlon makes his debut and where he may double up in terms of events.

"My priorities are still with my favourite sport, handbiking," Plat said.

"But I love triathlon and I am considering aiming for the Para-triathlon in Rio as well.

"I am happy with my first European gold."

The men's race in the PT4 event provided some of the most compelling viewing of the Championships as Martin Schulz of Germany and Yannick Bourseaux off France arrived in the final changeover together and remained in contention until the final stage of the concluding run.

Schulz won in 59:56, finishing six seconds ahead of his French rival.

"Martin was too strong in the final metres, so I am happy with silver," said Bourseaux.

"But I am looking forward to a big revanche [at the World Championships] in Edmonton."

In the women's PT1 race Britain's Karen Darke surprised herself with a gold-medal winning performance.

"But I loved the climbs here, although I did not expect to go this fast," said Darke, a silver medallist in the women's road time trial H1-2 at London 2012 

"It's great to win the gold here."

Her team-mate Jane Egan took silver ahead of Italy's Rita Cuccuru.

In the women's PT2 race Germany's Nora Hansel was a patently surprised winner - she did not realise she was in first place until shortly after she crossed the line.

Veronika Gabitova took the silver medal for Russia.

Germany's Nora Hansel reacts with suprise at realising she has won the PT2 event at the European Triathlon Championships in Kitzbuhel ©ETUGermany's Nora Hansel reacts with suprise at realising she has won the PT2 event at the European Triathlon Championships in Kitzbuhel ©ETU

Vasily Egorov of Russia took gold in the men's PT2 event after a tight battle with Michele Ferrarin of Italy, who finished 14 seconds adrift, with France's Stephan Bahier taking bronze.

There was a home winner in the PT3 event as Oliver Dreier came home 1:21 ahead of Italy's Alessio Borgato, with bronze going to Spain's Daniel Molina.

Saskia Van Den Ouden of the Netherlands led from start to finish in PT3, with Britain's Sarah Pearson taking silver.

Race favorite Lauren Steadman and Faye Mcclelland won respective gold and silver for Britain in the women's PT4 event.

But Italy's Irene Riviera prevented a British clean sweep as she held off Clare Cunningham to take bronze.

Chris Goodwin and Dave Ellis added more gold and silver for Britain in the men's PT5 event, as Ukraine's Vasyl Rakrevskyi came through for third.

In the women's PT5 race Susana Rodriguez from Spain had a tight battle with Britain's Melissa Reid before claiming the European title with 20 seconds to spare, with bronze going to Reid's team-mate Alison Patrick.

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