Sport Week: Para triathletes to watch for05.08.2016
Here are four athletes battling for the first ever Paralympic gold medals at Rio 2016.
As the sport makes its Paralympic debut at Fort Copacabana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, these athletes will look to make history with gold:
Martin Schulz, GER, men’s PT4
Schulz has shown a solid 2016 season after a disappointing end to 2015. During the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Grand Final in Chicago, USA, Schulz was just 30 seconds away from the world title. He finished runner-up to Canada’s Stefan Daniel.
Schulz bounced back in 2016 by winning all three ITU races he completed in. In all three races – including the European Championships in Lisbon, Portugal, and World Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands – Schulz finished at least 90 seconds ahead of the competition. This year’s victories have also added to his already impressive resume, a fifth European title and a third world title.
Stefan Daniel, CAN, men’s PT4
After upsetting Schulz and winning his first world title in 2015, Daniel has spent a good part of 2016 competing in able-bodied races, as this was his last year to compete in the junior division. His highest finish in those races has been sixth place.
The talented teenager does have an ITU Para triathlon win under his belt for 2016. In May, he had a decisive win over Mexico’s Jose Abraham Estrada Sierra and Russia’s Alexander Yalchik in Yokohama, Japan.
But he and rival Schulz have not raced together much this year. Their next meeting however will surely be one to watch.
Hailey Danisewicz, USA, women’s PT2
After a strong 2015 season and qualifying for Rio 2016 early, Danisewicz is still looking for her first win in 2016. She took third at the 2016 World Championships in Rotterdam. Her highest finish this year was a runner-up spot at the World Para Triathlon Event (WPE) in Besancon, France. But with pressure off, she only expects to peak in Rio 2016.
Her biggest competitions may be teammates Allysa Seely and Melissa Stockwell, who all finished on the Grand Final podium in Chicago last year.
Lauren Steadman, GBR, women’s PT4
The two-time world champion will be looking for redemption in Rio. Steadman, already a two-time Paralympian in swimming, has yet to win a medal at the summer Games, and had an unfortunate crash during the 2016 World Championships which denied her a third title, and continuation of her two-year unbeaten streak.
Still, Steadman has showed strong form throughout this year with wins already at World Para Triathlon Events in Buffalo City, South Africa, and Strathclyde, Great Britain, along with the European title. Perhaps her biggest challenge will be the USA’s Grace Norman, who snapped Steadman’s attempt at a third straight world title in Rotterdam.
Editor’s note: Each sport on the Rio 2016 Paralympic programme will have a dedicated week of featured content published on paralympic.org. Every week a new sport will be featured and the series will run until September’s Games, helping the public understand more about the 22 sports being contested in Rio.
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