A Rio 2016 Paralympic champion in cycling, Christiane Reppe took on a new challenge with her first Para triathlon competition at the World Cup in Funchal, Portugal, and it was an impressive debut on Sunday (28 October).
Reppe – also a four-time cycling world champion, and Paralympic and Worlds medallist in swimming – won the women’s PTWC gold in Funchal.
The 31-year-old (1:31:16) posted the quickest PTWC swim time (both male and female), en route to finishing 11 minutes ahead of Great Britain’s second-placed Sophie Taylor.
Three-time world champion Martin Schulz (1:02:58) brought Germany more glory, winning by more than three minutes in the men’s PTS5 for his fourth gold of 2018. France’s Antoine Besse was second, ahead of Hungary’s Bence Mocsari, who claimed bronze in his first international triathlon.
Fresh success for GB
Reppe’s was not the only debut victory in Funchal, with Great Britain’s Megan Richter (1:18:13) taking the women’s PTS4 in her first World Cup appearance. It came two months after winning two silver medals and a bronze at the Dublin 2018 World Para Swimming Allianz European Championships.
Mark Conway (PTWC) and Stuart Meikle (PTS2) joined Richter at the top of the podium.
Conway (1:16:02) finished nearly four minutes ahead of Russia’s Semen Radaev*, while Josh Landmann ensured there were two British athletes on the podium, securing bronze in his first international triathlon.
Meikle (1:21:40) won the men’s PTS2. France’s Geoffrey Wersy was next to cross the line, followed by Spain’s Jose Joaquin Martinez Rincon.
Back on top
Victory in the women’s PTS2 ensured Finland’s Liisa Lilja (1:31:30) ended her season on a high. Last year’s PTS2 world champion missed the first half of the year due to an ankle injury, but finished over 13 minutes ahead of Russia’s Veronika Gabitova*.
China’s Jiachao Wang (1:08:47) recorded his third victory of the season by crossing the line first in the men’s PTS4. Silver went to Russia’s Andrey Tolstikov* and bronze to Great Britain’s Michael Taylor.
The USA’s Amy Dixon (1:20:40) went one place better than the previous weekend’s silver at the Sarasota-Bradenton World Cup, finishing ahead of France’s Annouck Curzillat in the women’s PTVI. Ukraine’s Vita Oleksiuk completed the podium.
Double success for Ukraine
Ukraine did celebrate gold in two other events, with wins from Alisa Kolpakchy and Anatolii Varfolomieiev in the women’s PTS5 and men’s PTVI, respectively.
Varfolomieiev (1:10:28) enjoyed his first international victory in a hard-fought race that saw less than 90 seconds separating the top four athletes. France’s Antoine Perel came in 33 seconds behind Varfolomieiev, with Ukraine’s Vasyl Zakrevskyi 14 seconds further back in third.
Kolpakchy (1:19:22) beat out Hungary’s Petra Levay and Russia’s Anna Bychkova*, respectively, for her second World Cup victory of the year.
Portugal’s Jose Mendonca completed the course in 1:40:43 in the men’s PTS3.
*Editor's note: The International Paralympic Committee suspended the Russian Paralympic Committee on 7 August 2016 for its inability to fulfil its IPC membership responsibilities and obligations, in particular its obligation to comply with the IPC Anti-Doping Code and the World Anti-Doping Code (to which it is also a signatory). As a result of the suspension, Russian athletes cannot enter IPC sanctioned events or competitions, including the Paralympic Games.