—Chantal Givens finishes fourth in women’s PT4 classification, Christine Robbins places fifth in women’s PT5 category—
Rio de Janeiro – In preparation for paratriathlon’s debut next summer at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games, paratriathletes tested the course on Saturday and scored points that go towards making their Paralympic dreams come true.
Great Britain’s George Peasgood took a commanding lead in the men’s race, dominating both the swim and the bike legs. Remaining in a consistent second-place position through the first two disciplines, Martin Schulz (GER) exited the second transition down by 43 seconds as he entered his run. Gaining speed on Peasgood, Schultz was able to capitalize on his competitor’s weakest discipline to close the gap and take over the lead position, setting himself up for victory. Calgary’s Stefan Daniel followed close behind and was able to secure the silver. Taking the bronze was France’s Yannick Bourseaux, who also competed as a Paralympic skier, proved he can excel at both winter and summer sports.
“I’ll try to make the Paralympic team next year, and it’s exciting, it’s a cool city, fast course,” Stefan Daniel said of paratriathlon’s debut at the Paralympics in 2016. “I’ll be excited to compete.
It was a great experience racing here in Rio. The event was very well organized and having large crowds come out was exciting to see. I was happy with my swim. I gave all I could on the bike and tried to minimize the gap between myself and the competitors ahead. The run was extremely tough, and I just did my best to get through it. The crowd really helped me out and I was able to hold on to my position,” added the 18-year-old.
In the women’s race, Lauren Steadman (GBR) 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. Behind her, Grace Norman (USA) stepped up for silver, while Faye Mcclelland (GBR) followed two minutes later for bronze. Winnipeg’s Chantal Givens finished just off the podium in fourth.
Ottawa’s Christine Robbins was the top Canadian in fifth in the women’s PT5 classification.
Great Britain showed up on Saturday in the women’s race, taking home both the gold and silver. Alison Patrickwas the showstopper who was able to glide onto the blue carper untouched with a commendable minute lead. Second to cross the line, however, was compatriot Melissa Reid. The bronze was awarded to USA’s Patricia Walsh, who finished with a time of 1:10:05.
For complete results: http://www.triathlon.org/results
Canada able-bodied athletes will hit the start line for their test event in Rio on Sunday.