US para-triathletes shine on home course

The US women swept the PT2 and PT5 events at the Detroit ITU World Para-Triathlon Event. 17 Aug 2015
A picture of a woman with a prosthesis wearing an American flag to celebrate her victory

USA's Melissa Stockwell winning the TRI-2 race during the ITU Para-Triathlon World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand.

ⒸUSA Triathlon
By USA Triathlon

Team USA won gold in seven of 10 sport classes at the Detroit International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Para-Triathlon Event, which concluded on Sunday (16 August).

The US women swept the PT2 and PT5 classes, highlighted by Melissa Stockwell winning her first World Para-Triathlon Event of the year. The US Army veteran was coming off a second-place finish at the para-triathlon test event for the Rio 2016 Paralympics held on 1 August. On Sunday, Stockwell paced the 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run course in 1:19:31. Her time was about a minute quicker than second-place compatriot Allysa Seely. Sarah Reinersten (1:30:51) completed the USA sweep with the bronze-medal finish.

US National Champion Patricia Walsh took the women’s PT5 class in 1:08:55, and was followed up by teammates Elizabeth Baker (1:12:41) and Amy Dixon (1:14:33), respectively.

The USA also saw gold-medal wins from Kendall Gretsch (1:07:14) in the women’s PT1; Andrea Walton (1:25:04) in the women’s PT3; Andre Cilliers (1:06:17) in the men’s PT3; Chris Hammer (00:56:58) in the men’s PT4; and Aaron Scheidies (00:55.02) in the men’s PT5. Hammer and Walsh earned provisional spots on the 2016 US Paralympic Triathlon Team earlier in August.

Overall, the Americans picked up 13 medals against an international field that also included medallists from Australia, Brazil, France, Great Britain, Mexico and Spain.

Great Britain captured two gold medals, with Ryan Taylor (1:05:32) taking the men’s PT2 and Clare Cunningham (1:06:07) winning the women’s PT4 event. Brazil’s Fernando Aranha pulled the victory in the men’s PT1 category with a time of 1:01:22.

For complete results of the 2015 Detroit ITU World Para-Triathlon Event, visit the ITU’s website.

Top athletes in each sport class earned points toward their ranking in the ITU’s Paralympic Qualification List, which will help determine which countries will earn team quota spots for next year’s Paralympic Games, where the sport will make its debut. Three sport classes per gender will be contested in Rio next September: PT1, PT2 and PT4 for men, and PT2, PT4 and PT5 for women.

A number of athletes who competed in Sunday’s event in Detroit will head to Edmonton, Canada, on 5 September for the final World Para-Triathlon Event of the season. Then, the world’s best athletes will head to Chicago, USA, for the ITU Para-Triathlon World Championships on 18 September.