—Christine Robbins and Sasha Boulton team up to win silver in women’s PT5 class—
EDMONTON—Canada’s Stefan Daniel solidified himself as the man to beat in the PT4 classification heading into the Para-triathlon World Championships after putting down a golden performance on Saturday at the World Triathlon event in Edmonton.
The 18-year-old para-triathlon sensation thrilled his family and friends that made the three-hour drive north from his hometown in Calgary by chalking up his fourth podium finish in as many races, and third gold on the World Para-triathlon Series this year. Daniel clocked a time of 59:29.
The family will now hang around in Edmonton to watch Daniel’s cousin, Greg, compete in the Tour of Alberta cycling race that pedals through the city on Sunday.
“Winning in front of a home crowd with lots of friends and family here makes it extra special,” said Daniel, who was born with bilateral radial club hands with is right arm significantly more affected. “That is the best I have ever felt in a triathlon. It was a really good day.”
Daniel led wire-to-wire through the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike and five-kilometre run course. The first-year student at the University of Calgary outduelled Great Britain’s David Hill in the water, then dropped American Chris Hammer on the bike, before dusting the entire field on the run course.
“The bike felt good, but I think that run is the best I have ever done,” said Daniel. “That really is the best I have ever felt. There are lots of strong athletes here, but now I’m really looking forward to Chicago (World Championships).”
Hammer finished second at 1:01:53, while Hungary’s Peter Boronkay locked up the bronze with a time of 1:03:59.
Winning World Championships will put the icing on the cake to what already will go down as a dream season for the soft-spoken Canuck. Not only has the emerging star in Canada’s para-sport circles racked up three golds and one silver while competing in the deepest classification in the four World Para-triathlon races this year, but he also defied all odds to capture the junior men’s National Championship crown in Magog, Que. despite a significant disadvantage to the field – especially in the water.
“This year has gone better than I hoped. I didn’t at all expect to win junior elite nationals, but that was a highlight for me and as the season went on, helped me for para-races,” said Daniel, who has a silver and bronze medal in his first two trips to the World Championships.
“I want to win World Championships. I’ve been training hard for it, but there are a lot of great athletes there. I believe if I have a really good race, stay strong, I will have a good chance. I have a good build up to Chicago so I’m looking forward to that race.”
Meanwhile, Ottawa’s Christine Robbins and Sasha Boulton put a silver lining around a strong day for Canadian triathlon after finishing second in the women’s PT5 classification for visually-impaired athletes.
Robbins and Boulton teamed up to clock a time of 1:14:38.
“It was tough to get my feet going after the swim because they were so cold, but we got things going and had a really strong bike,” said Robbins. “I’m really happy with the race. We have been working hard on the bike and shaved a lot of time today. We are now looking forward to World Championships in Chicago.”
Amy Dixon, of the United States, won the women’s PT5 division with a time of 1:12:57. Ireland’s Catherine Walsh posted the third fastest time at 1:16:21.
For complete Para-triathlon results: http://www.triathlon.org/results
The penultimate race on the World Triathlon Series takes centre stage in Edmonton on Sunday.