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Paralympic Sports: Triathlon

Gold Coast 2018: Six talking points

New and familiar faces shine at Para Triathlon World Championships 18 Sep 2018
By Adam Bailey | For the IPC

The 2018 World Triathlon Grand Final saw new and familiar faces shine on the Gold Coast, with 12 world champions crowned in Australia on Saturday (15 September).

Here are the major takeaways from the season’s showpiece event:

1. Great Britain’s depth

A record-equalling 13 different nations won at least one medal, but it was the British Para triathletes, in particular, who shone in the Australian sun; with every single member of their 10-strong team returning home with a medal.

Great Britain topped the medals table with three golds, five silvers and two bronzes; claiming double the number of medals of the USA, who finished second on the medals table.

Lauren Steadman and Dave Ellis both secured their third world titles, while Hannah Moore claimed her first, just three months after making her international debut.

2. Perseverance rewarded

The USA’s Mark Barr has become a veteran in the sport. Since competing in his first international Para triathlon in 2012, Barr has always dreamed of becoming world champion.

Six years and six World Championships later, his dream was finally fulfilled. Unbeaten in international triathlon in 2018, Barr’s perseverance paid off; finishing 32 seconds ahead of double world champion Andy Lewis to claim the men’s PTS2.

3. PTS5 and PTVI close contests

The men’s PTS2 class was not the only close battle on the Gold Coast, with a matter of seconds separating the world’s best Para triathletes in both the men’s PTS5 and PTVI events.

Just over two minutes kept apart the top five finishers in the men’s PTS5. Canada’s defending world champion Stefan Daniel and Germany’s Paralympic champion Martin Schulz renewed their rivalry, with Daniel successfully retaining his title.

But, with Great Britain’s George Peasgood, Spain’s Jairo Ruiz Lopez and France’s Yannick Bourseaux all closing the gap on the pair, the battle ahead of Tokyo 2020 will be interesting.

There were also just 20 seconds separating the men’s PTVI British world champion Dave Ellis and US silver medallist Aaron Scheidies at the finish line after a great battle between the pair. Spain’s Hector Catala Laparra was only 19 seconds further back in third.

4. Rodriguez is back

Spain’s Susana Rodriguez has been a regular on the international podium in the women’s vision impaired event since taking up the sport in 2010.

After winning the world title in 2012, the Spaniard has finished on the world podium four times, but she has never managed to add another Worlds gold to her honours.

Six years later, Rodriguez did just that; returning to the top step of the podium once again. Australian Katie Kelly has been a dominant force in the women’s PTVI since 2015, but she finished third at her home Worlds.

5. Plat pure perfection

As Australian Bill Chaffey brought an end to what has been a hugely successful Para triathlon career in the men’s PTWC class, the Netherlands’ Jetze Plat showed no signs of slowing down as he moved one step closer to Chaffey’s record of five world titles.

Just three weeks after winning two gold medals at the 2018 Para Cycling Road World Championships, Plat was back at the top of a World Championships podium; winning his third in Para triathlon.

Still only 27, Plat is within reach of Chaffey’s record.

6. Seely seeks and finds redemption

Tokyo 2020 might still be two years away, but Paralympic champion Allysa Seely has already laid down a marker in the women’s PTS2. Seely rounded off her unbeaten season with her third world title.

The result was one she had been yearning for since her silver medal 12 months ago, when she was not in top form due to a late-season health issue.

Seely did have to work hard for the victory on the Gold Coast, with Great Britain’s Fran Brown leading heading onto the run, but a strong run from the US Para triathlete secured the victory.

With Brown only in her second full season in the sport, the battle between the Ptwo will certainly be one to follow.

You can find more information and results about the World Championships in Australia here.