Breakthrough performance goes long way in securing Paralympic berth in Rio
AGUILAS, Esp—Canada’s Chantal Givens celebrated her first career World Para-Triathlon Event victory in Aguilas, Spain on Sunday.
The 37-year-old Winnipegger was tactically perfect on a challenging para-course that combined a 750-metre swim, along with a hilly 20-kilometre bike and a hot five-kilometre run course under windy conditions. Givens clocked the top time in the women’s PT4 classification at 1:15:09.
“I came into the day feeling strong and executed a good race. I made a huge change in my swim after Australia. It was not my fastest swim, but it felt good and promising,” said Givens, who had a good balance of training and rest leading into the event. “The bike was long and a harder course. I pushed hard to close the gap from the swim, and then cruised on the run. I pushed it today just under that risk point of blowing up so overall I’m pretty excited about the performance”
The gamble paid off.
Not only did Givens hop onto the top step of her first WTE podium, but she all but sealed a spot on the start line when para-triathlon makes its Paralympic debut in Rio this fall.
Givens shared the podium with two women from Great Britain. Kerry Large was the next best finisher in second spot at 1:16:25. Ruth Wilson finished well off Givens’ leading pace in the bronze-medal position after clocking a time of 1:18:40.
The result was a huge breakthrough for Givens, who got her start in the sport while volunteering at the 2001 Triathlon World Championships in Edmonton. Regularly placing in the top-five of elite international events, the two-time Canadian Champ’s quest to achieve excellence in the sport has continued ever since, and she is now determined to reach the podium each time the start gun goes off.
No other Canadians were entered in the field on Sunday.
Calgary’s Stefan Daniel also put down a gold-medal performance in Saturday at a World Para-Triathlon Event in Yokohama, Japan.