With just over a month until the Rio 2016 Paralympics qualification period opens, para-triathletes are ramping up their season as they hunt for points toward the World Championships in Chicago, Illinois, USA, in September.
The London International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Para-triathlon Event on Saturday (30 May) is another stepping stone toward the World Championships and especially the Rio 2016 Games, where para-triathlon will make its Paralympic debut.
Athletes in the men and women’s PT1-PT5 divisions will compete in the event held in London, Great Britain’s Hyde Park. Home favourite Phil Hogg, who is ranked second in the world men’s PT1, will be challenged by Australia’s No. 3 world ranked Bill Chaffey, who is coming off a second-place finish at the World Para-triathlon Event in Madrid, Spain, earlier in May.
Another Great Britain veteran, Melissa Reid (No. 2 in the women’s PT5) will keep a watch on Madrid World Event champion and current No. 1 Susana Rodriguez of Spain.
Italy’s Michele Ferrarin and Russia’s Vasily Egorov are expected to be among the top finishers in the men’s PT2 division. No. 3 Ferrarin and No. 5 Egorov recently met in Madrid, Spain, where Egorov finished 18 seconds ahead of Ferrarin.
The women’s PT4 division might also see an all-British duel race between national champion and world No. 1 Lauren Steadman and No. 4 Clare Cunningham, who finished runner-up to Steadman in the nationals in 16 May.
France’s Arnaud Grandjean will look to build off his third-place finish in Madrid in the PT5 division. USA’s Sarah Reinersten is also heading into the London, seeking a podium finish after taking fourth in the PT2 division in Madrid. Having competed in triathlon since 2007, Reinersten is among the most experienced athletes lining up in London.
Saturday’s race marks the unofficial halfway point in the 2015 para-triathlon season. Find more information on the London ITU Para-triathlon World Event here.