Japanese home star celebrates World Cup win ahead of home Paralympics19 Aug 2019
Wakako Tsuhcida celebrates victory on home soil at the Tokyo World Cup
ⒸITU Media/Delly Carr
By Adam Bailey | For the IPC
Tokyo-born Wakako Tsuchida secured victory in her home city as the world’s best triathletes had to deal with a switch in format as well as hot and humid conditions at the Para Triathlon World Cup in Japan on Saturday.
Unfavourable water conditions saw the Paralympic Test Event switch to a duathlon format with a 1.25km run replacing the swim. It was a change which Tsuchida took full advantage of to claim gold ahead of the Australian pair of Emily Tapp and Lauren Parker in the women’s PTWC.
The seven-time Paralympian crossed the line two-and-a-half minutes ahead of Tapp, who claimed silver, seven seconds ahead of Parker.
In the men’s equivalent, France’s Ahmed Andaloussi was the early leader. But Great Britain’s Joe Townsend’s strength on the bike proved to be a race winning attribute.
Andaloussi crossed the line more than a minute behind Townsend with Italy’s Pier Alberto Buccoliero in third.
Townsend was one of three British winners in Tokyo with world champions Lauren Steadman and Dave Ellis continuing their preparations for September’s World Grand Final with victories.
Steadman, who was competing in only her second international event of 2019, reasserted her dominance in the women’s PTS5, finishing ahead of her compatriot Claire Cashmore, as Ukraine’s Alisa Kolpakchy came in third.
Ellis added a third gold for Great Britain after a strong final run saw the triple world champion pull away from the USA’s Aaron Scheidies in the men’s PTVI.
Scheidies secured silver, while Australia’s Jonathan Goerlach was only six seconds behind.
The USA also claimed three golds as Hailey Danz took the tape in the women’s PTS2. The Paralympic silver medallist finished nearly a minute ahead of Great Britain’s Fran Brown, with Finland’s Liisa Lilja completing the podium.
Mark Barr was victorious in the men’s equivalent with a time of 1:14:47, nearly three minutes ahead of home favourite Kenshiro Nakayama.
Victory in the women’s PTS4 went to Kelly Elmlinger, who claimed her third win of the season. Japan’s Mami Tani was second, while bronze went to Sharon Dagg of New Zealand.
Canada’s Stefan Daniel continued his unbeaten 2019 with victory in the men’s PTS5 despite Paralympic champion Martin Schulz of Germany and Great Britain’s George Peasgood putting pressure on the reigning world champion.
No athlete could match the running speed of Daniel over the final 5km, with Schulz taking silver and Peasgood bronze.
The women’s PTVI saw a thrilling battle between Canada’s Jessica Tuomela and Great Britain’s Melissa Reid with the Canadian holding off the challenge of Reid on the final run. Bronze went to Ukraine’s Vita Oleksiuk.
Russia’s Mikhail Kolmakov secured his second World Cup win of 2019 with victory in the men’s PTS4, although it came in unexpected circumstances. Race leader Alexis Hanquinquant crossed the finish line with one lap still remaining after miscounting the number of laps.
Although Kolmakov overtook Hanquinquant to win, the Frenchman still managed to finish second, nearly two minutes ahead of the USA’s Jamie Brown.