A formidable Australian paratriathlon squad are ready to put their best racing of the season forward as the World Paratriathlon Series reaches its pinnacle at this Sunday’s World Paratriathlon Grand Final in Lausanne, Switzerland.
With a strong history of podium finishes at World Championship level amongst the Australian squad, the team will be a force to be reckoned with when they take to the starting line for one of the most prestigious events on the paratriathlon calendar.
The weekend’s performances will be all the more important, with results contributing towards individual qualification points for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, just under one year out from the Games.
Emily Tapp headlines a world class Women’s PTWC field and will line up as the 2018 defending World Champion.
After taking the win at June’s Montreal WPS and silver at the Tokyo World Cup earlier this month, Tapp has shown she is in world-class form and shaping up as a likely contender to take out her third consecutive World Championship title in Lausanne.
Tapp missed her first Paralympics due to a nasty accident but is now on a fast track to the Tokyo Games.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist was selected to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games team to compete in athletics but it’s now all about paratriathlon in Tokyo.
The 28-year-old says she is honoured to be wearing the green and gold for a fourth time.
Joining Tapp on the start line is 2018 World Championship bronze medallist, Lauren Parker, said that she believes she has what it takes to one-up her 2018 result amongst a highly competitive field lining up in Lausanne.
“I’m excited to race again so soon and I’m looking forward to lining up in Lausanne for my 2nd Paratriathlon World Champs next Sunday,” Parker said.
“At the Gold Coast World Champs last year, I finished 3rd after having spinal surgery only five weeks before race day. That definitely wasn’t the ideal build up. So I’m really keen to see what I can do this time, off a solid training block and after the hit-out in Tokyo.”
“I know it’s going to be tough but if I can have a great day I’m hopeful of finishing a couple of places higher on the podium than last year.”
Jonathan Goerlach expects that he will be in the mix for a podium finish in the PTVI class. With a solid training block under his belt and a dedication to improving his swim over recent months, the New South Welshman said that he believes he has the ability to improve upon his 2018 4th place finish and bring home a medal in Lausanne.
“Sam (Guide) and I were definitely sore and tired after the tough race in Tokyo and also the long haul flight to Europe straight after the race,” Goerlach said.
“However, after a few easier training days here in Divonne-les-Bains (training camp in France), we’re feeling fresh and ready to tackle the World Championship race.”
“Lausanne is going to be a tough course. The two big hills on each lap of the bike course are the talking point, but Sam and I believe this suits our strengths as we saw when winning Edmonton WPS in 2018 which had a very steep hill on the six lap bike course.”
“The PTVI Men’s category has always been one of the most competitive fields and is currently at its most competitive where any number of athletes could win. My swim is my only barrier to being on the podium and, with all the work I’ve been doing in the pool, my expectation is to be pressing for my first podium at a World Championships.”
2016 Paralympic gold medallist Katie Kelly will be looking to put forward another world class performance in Lausanne as she works towards selection to defend her Paralympic title in Tokyo next year. After taking home 3rd at the 2018 Gold Coast Grand Final with guide Briarna Silk, Kelly is shaping up a strong contender for yet another podium finish.
West Australia’s Sally Pilbeam will be looking to continue her impressive World Championships run in Lausanne this weekend. Claiming a medal at every World Championships since 2014, including three consecutive silver medals since 2016, Pilbeam lines up with every chance to add yet another medal to her collection.
Kate Doughty (PTS5) will make her return to the World Championship stage this weekend, with the Victorian looking to return to form following tough racing in sweltering conditions earlier this month in Tokyo. While Nic Beveridge (PTWC) will also be looking for redemption in Lausanne after missing out on the 2018 event due to wrist surgery.
Grand Final debutant Liam Twomey (PTS4) will be put through his paces in Lausanne, while David Bryant (PTS5) will aim to continue on an upward trajectory after taking 5th at the Tokyo World Cup earlier this month. Clint Pickin will also be looking to make an impact at his second Grand Final appearance off the back of a bronze medal at the Magog World Cup earlier this year.
ITU World Paratriathlon Grand Final Lausanne
Paratriathlon: Sunday September 1, 2:00PM LOCAL | Sunday September 1, 10PM AEST
Emily Tapp (PTWC)
Lauren Parker (PTWC)
Nic Beveridge (PTWC)
Clint Pickin (PTS4)
Liam Twomey (PTS4)
Sally Pilbeam (PTS4)
David Bryant (PTS5)
Kate Doughty (PTS5)
Jonathan Goerlach/Sam Douglas-Guide (PTVI)
Katie Kelly/Briarna Silk Guide (PTVI)