The world’s best Para triathletes will battle it out for the first time since Rio 2016 at the ITU (International Triathlon Union) World Para Triathlon Grand Final in Rotterdam, Netherlands, with the Para Triathlon Worlds set for Friday (15 September).
More than 160 athletes will compete across 12 medal events:
The Netherland’s defending champion Jetze Plat is targeting a third world title in less than a month after winning handcycling gold in both the time-trial and road race at the UCI Para Cycling World Road Championships in South Africa earlier this month.
Plat will be joined on the start line by the other two medallists from Rio, with his compatriot and Paralympic silver medalist Geert Schipper and Italy’s Paralympic bronze medallist Giovanni Achenza also pushing for a podium place.
In the women’s race, Australia’s Emily Tapp will be hoping to add to her four victories in 2017. But the Australian will likely face competition from Great Britain’s Jade Jones who will be looking to round-off an impressive debut season in Para triathlon with world gold.
Great Britain’s European, world and Paralympic champion Andrew Lewis will start as the man to beat. But the USA’s Mark Barr and France’s Stephane Bahier will look to upgrade their respective silver and bronze medals from last year. Rio 2016 bronze medallist Mohammed Lahna – racing under the ITU flag –also has podium potential.
In the women’s side, the USA’s world and Paralympic champion Allysa Seely goes in the search of a third successive world title. But her compatriot Hailey Danz and Finland’s Liisa Lilja will be hoping to break Seely’s dominance as the world’s top three go head-to-head-to-head.
The men’s PTS3 race is difficult to predict with no Para triathlete asserting their dominance on the class this year. Spain’s Joaquin Carrasco tops the rankings after being a regular on the podium this season, while his compatriot and European champion Daniel Molina is bidding to add the world title to his continental triumph.
Australia’s Justin Godfrey is another continental champion taking the start line in Rotterdam after his victory at the Oceania Championships at the beginning of the season. Great Britain’s Ryan Taylor could also be make the podium after his victory in Edmonton, Canada.
Spain’s top-ranked Alejandro Sanchez Palomero will look to go one place better than the runner-up position he finished in the last two years. France’s Alexis Hanquinquant will aim to continue his impressive start to the sport by adding the world title to his four victories this season.
In the women’s race, Japan’s Mami Tani arrives in the Netherlands having won all seven of the races she has started. But the World Championships debutant will be joined on the start line by Australia’s double world champion Sally Pilbeam and US champion Patricia Collins.
Eyes will be on Germany’s Martin Schulz and Canada’s Stefan Daniel as the pair compete against each other for the first time since Schulz beat Daniel to gold at last year’s Paralympic Games. Schulz will be looking to secure back-to-back world titles after regaining his crown from Daniel last year.
The USA’s Grace Norman and Great Britain’s Lauren Steadman are another pair to renew their rivalry in Rotterdam. Steadman was unbeaten in international triathlon since 2014 until Norman beat her to Paralympic gold in Rio. Steadman will try to gain some redemption and deny Norman back-to-back world titles.
The USA’s Aaron Scheidies heads to Rotterdam is in search of his fourth successive world title. Great Britain’s Dave Ellis could spring a surprise after three victories in his first season back competing in triathlon since 2014.
Australia’s Paralympic champion Katie Kelly will target her second world title after securing gold in 2015, while Spain’s Susana Rodriguez will be looking to challenge and claim her first world crown since 2012.
More information on the 2017 ITU Para Triathlon World Championships can be found on the ITU’s website.
A free finish-line livestream will be available and fans can also follow the action live on Twitter at @TriathlonLive.