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Paralympic Sports: Triathlon

Alexandre Paviza and Antoine Perel star at home

Nine French medals, including two golds, in Besancon World Cup 17 Jun 2019
Imagen
A male Para triathlete in a wheelchair race

France's Alexandre Paviza took a gold medal at the home Besancon World Cup

ⒸMarco Bardella
By Adam Bailey | For the IPC

Alexandre Paviza and Antoine Perel were among nine French medallists at their home Para Triathlon World Cup in Besancon, France, on Sunday; the second ITU World Cup event of 2019.

Paviza was victorious in the men’s PTWC, finishing 32 seconds ahead of compatriot Ahmed Andaloussi in a French one-two. After pulling away on the bike, Paviza’s advantage was cut by Andaloussi during the 5km run, but Paviza held off his compatriot to secure the victory.

Germany’s Benjamin Lenatz completed the podium in a time of 1:12:53.

Perel ensured it was double delight for the host country, crossing the line a minute ahead of Italy’s Federico Sicura in the men’s PTVI. Oren Blitzblau of Israel was next to cross the line in third.

Battling Brits

Great Britain’s Andy Lewis returned to winning ways in a very close battle with France’s Jules Ribstein in the men’s PTS2.

Ribstein got the better of the Paralympic champion at the Milan World Para Triathlon Series in April, but this time it was Lewis celebrating, passing Ribstein on the run to win by six seconds. Bronze went to Russia’s Vasilii Egorov.

The men’s PTS2 was one of two gold medals decided by less than 10 seconds.

Just seven seconds separated Great Britain’s Melissa Reid and Italy’s Anna Barbaro at the finish line with the British triathlete securing another gold for Great Britain.

A super quick run by Reid – the quickest in the field by two minutes – secured her first victory since returning to triathlon following a year-out in 2018. Barbaro held off the challenge of France’s Annouck Curzillat, who claimed bronze.

The men’s PTS4 was one of the most competitive events in Besancon; not only because of the number of triathletes competing (12), but also the race itself.

Just over two minutes separated the top five athletes, including 38 seconds between gold medallist Mikhail Kolmakov of Russia and silver medallist Joe Kurt of Luxembourg. Austria’s Oliver Dreier was only 22 seconds behind Kurt in third.

Popular home podiums

With qualification beginning for Tokyo 2020 at the end of June, the USA’s Kendall Gretsch certainly showed good form in Besancon.

The three-time world champion finished six minutes ahead of the Netherlands’ Margret Ijdema in the women’s PTWC with France’s Mona Francis securing a popular home podium in third.

Another former world champion to shine in France was Germany’s Martin Schulz who followed-up his victory from April’s Milan World Para Triathlon Series with gold in the men’s PTS5.

The Paralympic and three-time world champion finished nearly a minute and a half ahead of Devonport World Cup winner David Bryant of Australia.

Yannick Bourseaux secured another home medal, claiming bronze despite racing with an Achilles injury.

The women’s equivalent was won by Ukraine’s Alisa Kolpakchy, who finished ahead of Australian teenager Molly Wallace and France’s Sandra Chaleteix, respectively.

European success

Nico Van Der Burgt of the Netherlands continued his rookie season with another win in the men’s PTS3. The Dutch triathlete repeated his victory from last month’s World Series event in Yokohama, crossing the line over six minutes ahead of Germany’s Max Gelhaar and France’s Michael Herter.

Victory in the women’s PTS2 went to 2017 world champion Liisa Lilja in a time of 1:31:23, more than six minutes ahead of Italy’s Veronica Yoko Plebani and Russia’s Veronika Gabitova.

In the women’s PTS4, Germany’s Elke Van Engelen got the better of Russia’s Evgeniya Koroleva in a head-to-head battle between the pair.

Full results can be found on the International Triathlon Union’s website.