2020 ITU World Paratriathlon Series got underway in Devonport, Australia, as 70 paratriathletes from 26 countries, lined up to resume Paralympic campaigns and aim for success on the World Paratriathlon stage.
The coastal course, in the north of Tasmania, consisted of a 750m swim, six-lap bike and two-lap run. Course conditions were picture perfect however the wind picked up in the afternoon as racing got started.
Race reports: women
The PTWC women’s was headlined with the talent of 2019 ITU World Paratriathlon Champion Lauren Parker from Australia. Parker is showing no signs of backing down from her untouchable 2019 world-title win as she dominated the women’s race today, showing off world class form, to win in Devonport.
Australia’s Emily Tapp showed off fine form to finish in second position behind Parker and an elated Margaret Ijdema from the Netherlands earned the bronze medal.
With the female PTWC class making its Paralympic debut in Tokyo Parker has her sights set on paratriathlon’s biggest stage as she heads into the 2020 season.
“The goal is a gold medal in Tokyo and I am on track,” said Parker.
In the vision impaired race Anna Barbaro from Italy won the race in a winning time of 1hour22seconds. Barbaro was incredibly emotional with today’s confidence boosting win in a Paralympic year.
“We’re really happy for this race, our first win in WPS! I am very happy, I think all the Italian team is very happy, so we’ll see in Tokyo,” said Barbaro.
USA’s Amy Dixon earned the silver medal in the PTVI category and Ukraine’s Vita Oleksiuk produced a magnificent race result to claim the bronze medal.
In the PTS2 women’s race Japan’s Yukako Hata was the one to watch as she claimed victory. USA’s Melissa Stockwell, who claimed three Paratriathlon World Cup golds in 2019 didn’t quite have the power to catch Hata but was thrilled with the silver medal. Spain’s Rakel Mateo Uriate capped the podium in third place. Russia’s Anna Plotnikova dominated the S3 class and was awarded the gold medal.
Germany’s Elke Van Engelen was behind in the swim however with a powerful bike and run leg was able to successfully earn the WTS gold medal. Japan’s Mami Tani did her best to chase down Van Engelen but didn’t quite have the speed on the run and finished in second position. Sally Pilbean, who earned the silver medal in the 2019 Devonport ITU Paratriathlon World Cup, was the third female to cross the finish line in the S4 class.
Australia’s Kate Doughty was running her own race to storm home to victory in the S5 class. Ukraine’s Alisa Kolpakchy gave her best performance to finish in second place and Petra Lovay from Hungary was awarded the bronze medal.
“To be honest, I think that’s one of the toughest courses I’ve ever raced on. It’s always great to come to Devonport but it’s always a bit of an unknown of what the conditions are going to be so it was quite testing out on the bike, really just holding it there.”
“On the run, I just really had to stay in the moment and get through it. I think it was probably one of my best runs to date and that’s what I came here for,” said Doughty.
Devonport was proud to open the first of three World Paratriathlon Series to be staged in 2020. There will be six Paratriathlon World Cups in 2020 and the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships taking place across two days of intense racing, at the start of May this year.