Athletes tested the course for para-triathlon’s Paralympic Games debut on Saturday (1 August), scoring points toward coveted qualification spots during the Test Event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Despite trailing in the swim and bike legs, Germany’s Martin Schulz outgained Great Britain’s George Peasgood in the running portion to claim victory and continue his dominance in the class. Schultz left the second transition down by 43 seconds as he entered his run. Gaining speed on Peasgood, Schultz was able to capitalise on his competitor’s weakest discipline to close the gap and take the win in 59:11
Canada’s Stefan Daniel followed close behind to secure the silver, and France’s Yannick Bourseaux took the bronze.
In the women’s race, Great Britain’s Lauren Steadman commanded the course and was the frontrunner from start to finish. She led out of the water and the bike, which gave her a comfortable last leg all the way to the gold medal finish line. USA’s Grace Norman took silver, while Great Britain’s Faye Mcclelland followed two minutes later for bronze.
After being down in the swim, Australia’s Bill Chaffey forced a change in the leaderboard after a phenomenal bike leg that carried him through to the finish line. The four-time world champion displayed a standout race that proved he is going to be one to beat in Rio 2016, as he earned the gold medal (59:41).
“I could hear people shouting ‘Go Aussie,’” Chaffey said. “I wanted to get an idea of this course. I knew it was going to be flat and fast, but there are multiple turns. Having that knowledge and knowing what I need to train for is one of the benefits, and the competition is so strong.”
Setting himself up with a slight edge after his quick transition after the bike, the Netherlands’ Geert Schipper positioned himself into second place entering the run. But USA’s Krige Schabort overtook Schipper in the final lap to claim the silver medal; Schipper finished with bronze.
Hailey Danisewicz, Melissa Stockwell and Allysa Seely carried on the US women’s stronghold this 2015 season when they swept the women’s PT2 class. Stockwell held a two-minute lead over Danisewicz in the water, but a strong bike had Danisewicz back in with a split three minutes faster than the field. The move put Danisewicz out in front, heading into the two-lap 5km run. From there the eventual gold medallist continued to surge ahead, as she scorched the fastest run split as well. Danisewicz won the race in 1:24:37, followed by Stockwell and then Seely.
Russia’s Vasily Egorov continued his dominant career in para-triathlon with his fifth win of the year and 13th overall. One of the slower swimmers out of the water, Egorov however was dominant in the bike. The Russian carried his lead into the two-lap run along the Copacabana Beach and never let up, scoring to the win in 1:08:58. USA’s Mark Barr, who held the fastest swim of the day, finished second, while Great Britain’s Andrew Lewis took bronze.
Great Britain took home both the gold and silver, as Alison Patrick (1:09:13) glided onto the blue carper untouched with a commendable minute lead. Compatriot Melissa Reid came in second. The bronze was awarded to USA’s Patricia Walsh.
On the men’s side, Spain’s Jose Luis Garcia Serrano (1:08:23) unquestionably claimed the PT5 title.
With their home country fans cheering them on, Brazil swept the podium in the men’s PT3 race. Jorge Luis Fonseca blew by the competition and was uncontested for the entirety of the race. Finishing with a time of 1:08:41, he was the frontrunner through all three disciplines. Roberto Carlos Silva took the silver, and Edson Dantas claimed the bronze.
For complete results of the 2015 Rio de Janeiro International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Para-Triathlon Event, please visit the ITU’s website.