Germany’s Para triathlete Martin Schulz is still confident he can win gold at September’s Paralympic Games after suffering his first defeat in two years at a major competition.
The 26-year-old lost to Canada’s Stefan Daniel in the PT4 class at the 2015 World Championships in Chicago, USA, putting an end to an astonishing winning streak which lasted between June 2013 and September 2015.
But Schulz hopes to climb back to the top of the podium at Rio 2016, where the sport will make its Paralympic debut.
“It is great to be a world champion, but to be a Paralympic champion would be greater,” Schulz said.
“I feel proud to represent Germany at the Paralympics, especially in a new discipline. I love triathlon and this is a childhood dream come true.”
“Hopefully I will have the best race of my life, but I need to stay healthy.”
Before Rio, though, world No.1 Schulz will have a major stop in his calendar when he competes at the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Para Triathlon World Championships on 23 July in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
While the competition will not affect qualification for September’s Games, it is expected to feature many of the faces set to compete in Rio.
Despite his runner-up finish in Chicago, Schulz will start again as the favourite in Rotterdam. But Daniel and France’s Yannick Bourseaux will also be pushing for gold.
“Athletes like Yannick and Stefan are the reason why I try to be better every day,” Schulz said.
Schulz won the World Championships in 2013 and 2014. His most recent victory was in Lisbon, Portugal, where he took his fifth European Championship title.
However, despite his resume, Schulz prefers to stay cautious.
“The most important race will be the one in September, and I will try to show my best performance,” Schulz said.
“I want to win the gold in Rio.”
Once the Paralympics are over, Schulz plans to have a regenerating holiday in Nepal.
“I want to travel there in November. I love trekking and the feeling of freedom whilst being in contact with nature,” he said.
For more information on July’s ITU 2016 World Championships, visit the event website.
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.