Australian Para triathletes shine on home soil

Emily Tapp won the women’s PTHC and Bill Chaffey came second in the men’s equivalent at the ITU World Paratriathlon Series in Gold Coast. 10 Apr 2017
Jetze Plat NED celebrates winning the Gold Medal in the Men's PT1 Triathlon at Fort Copacabana. The Paralympic Games, Rio de Janeiro

Jetze Plat is already Paralympic PT1 Triathlon Champion

ⒸOlympic Information Services OIS.
By Adam Bailey | For the IPC

Australians Emily Tapp and Bill Chaffey excelled at the opening race of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Paratriathlon Series on home soil in Gold Coast, achieving qualification for next year’s Commonwealth Games.

The event was held on the proposed course for Gold Coast 2018, where Para triathlon will make its Commonwealth Games debut, adding further incentive for the Australian Para triathletes competing.

In the women’s PTHC, Tapp pulled clear during the 750m swim, before extending her advantage during the 20km bike and five kilometre run to finish in a winning time of 1:16:32.

The USA’s Mary Catherine Callahan (1:26:23) was Tapp’s nearest challenger. Australia’s Sarah Tait rounded off the podium, completing the course in a time of 1:37:21.

Five-time world champion Chaffey secured the qualification spot for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the men’s equivalent, after finishing second in a time of 1:03:47.

The Netherlands’ world and Paralympic champion Jetze Plat impressed in his first race since winning gold at Rio 2016, completing the Gold Coast course in 58:22 to take the win. France’s Ahmed Andaloussi finished third in a time of 1:05:52.

Another Rio 2016 gold medallist who impressed in Gold Coast was the USA’s Allysa Seely in the women’s PTS2. She followed up her victory at last month’s CAMTRI Para Triathlon American Championships, by winning in a time of 1:26:35.

Japan’s Yukako Hata (1:34:01) and Spain’s Rakel Mateo Uriarte (1:40:26) completed the podium.

There was no such joy for PT5 Paralympic champion Katie Kelly (1:32.19) as she finished fifth in the women’s PTVI. The race was won by USA’s Elizabeth Baker in 1:10:36, who held off the challenge of Spain’s Susana Rodriguez (1:11:08) and the Netherlands’ Odette Deudekom (1:14:06).

Australia’s Jonathan Goerlach won the men’s PTVI in 1:05:12, with the Netherlands’ Daniel Knegt (1:06:32) in second and Goerlach’s compatriot Gerrard Gosens (1:07:15) in third.

France’s Stephane Bahier (1:08:30) won a hotly contested men’s PTS2, finishing one minute clear of the USA’s Mark Barr (1:09:31). Bahier, Barr and Australia’s third-placed Brant Garvey (1:13:14) were side-by-side in transition two, but the Frenchman pulled clear on the run to win.

Alexis Hanquinquant ensured a double celebration for France as he claimed victory in the men’s PTS4 with a time of 1:02.24, ahead of Spain’s Alejandro Sanchez Palomero (1:05.42) and Brazil’s Marcello Collet (1:06:04).

Australians Sally Pilbeam and Kerryn Harvey put their friendship aside as they renewed their rivalry in the women’s equivalent. Pilbeam, who is a two-time world champion, completed the course in 1:18:58 to claim the victory, while Harvey finished in a time of 1:21:56.

There was further success for Australia in the men’s PTS3 as Justin Godfrey (1:10.36) finished 13 minutes ahead of Brazil’s Tiago Matthes (1:23.20), whilst Godfrey’s compatriot Kate Doughty finished the women’s PTS5 category in 1:10:01.

The USA’s Chris Hammer held off the challenge of Brazil’s Carlos Rafael Viana to win the men’s PTS5 in a time of 1:01:13. Viana finished second in 1:02:45, with France’s Yan Guanter a further 1:14 back in third.