“As a programme we’ve made huge steps forward this year, including developing our Loughborough training hub, but there is more work to do."
British Triathlon has confirmed a squad of 12 elite para-triathletes as part of its UK Sport Lottery funded squad for 2015. Included are two current and three former ITU para-triathlon world champions.
Lauren Steadman and Alison Patrick won ITU world titles in the PT4 and PT5 categories respectively in Edmonton, Canada, in August. These are two of the six categories included as para-triathlon makes its debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
British Triathlon Performance Manager, Jonathon Riall, said: “With Rio only just over a year and a half away we expect to see para-triathlon make big strides forward next season. The benefit of UK Sport Lottery funding is that this squad can focus completely on preparing for Rio.
“As a programme we’ve made huge steps forward this year, including developing our Loughborough training hub, but there is more work to do. We have a recruitment programme running at the moment to find new guides for our visually impaired athletes and we are much stronger in some categories than others.
“At this stage in the Paralympic cycle it may be late to bring on new talent, but we’re excited to welcome some new names to the elite programme this year, including Rhiannon Henry, Ryan Taylor and Andrew Lewis.”
The para-triathlon season starts in March 2015 with the opening rounds of the ITU World Para-triathlon Events. But the key events are later in the season with the Rio Para-triathlon in August acting as the Paralympic test event and the ITU World Championships taking place in September in Chicago, USA.
Para-triathlon will also feature in front of home crowds at the London ITU World Para-triathlon Event in Hyde Park on 30 May.
Great Britain Para-triathlon Squad:
• Phil Hogg, 44, Derby, PT1
• Joe Townsend 26, Eastbourne, PT1
• Lauren Stedman, 21, Peterborough/Portsmouth, PT4 – ITU world Champion 2014
• Faye McClelland, 35, Eastbourne, PT4 – ITU world champion 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013
• Clare Cunningham, 37, Cambridge, PT4 – ITU world champion 2009
• Alison Patrick, 27, Livingstone, PT5 – ITU world champion 2014
• Melissa Reid, 24, Truro, PT5 – ITU world champion 2013
• Andrew Lewis, 31, Lydney, Gloucester, PT2
• Rhiannon Henry, 27, Bridgend, PT5
• Ryan Taylor, 21, Derby, PT2
• David Hill, 25, Bath PT4
• George Peasgood, 19, Saffron Walden, PT4