Australia’s para triathletes shone in the final World Triathlon Para Series race of 2022, with Gold for Lauren Parker (PTWC) in another dominant performance and Silver for Anu Francis (PTS2) in her World Triathlon debut, as the countdown to Paris begins.
A stunning day in Swansea, Wales, welcomed the world’s best para triathletes to contest in the first standalone World Triathlon Para Series race in Great Britain. The start lists were stacked with fierce competition, featuring Paralympic and world champions and emerging talent, vying for success on the world para triathlon scene.
Australia’s Lauren Parker again dominated the day and convincingly took the tape in Swansea, finishing over 5 minutes ahead of Paralympic champion Kendall Gretsch of the USA. Gretsch didn’t quite have the power to keep up with Parker but secured a brilliant silver and Brazil’s Jessica Ferreira claimed bronze.
“I am so happy to take another win. I had a really good start. My aim was to get as much lead as I could heading out on the bike. I felt really good at the start of the bike and I just wanted to push as hard as I could and I made the most of the technical course. I am really happy with how that panned out. I needed as much as I needed on the run. It’s a very technical run course and really had to get around it as safe as possible, but also as quick as possible.
“I always know Kendall Gretsch is chasing me so that’s why I have to get as much lead as possible off the bike. Kendall starts 3:42 seconds after me in the H1 category and I am in the H3 category so I always need to get as much lead as possible on the run. It was a close finish in Tokyo and I didn’t want that to happen again,” said Parker.
Parker, the two-time Paratriathlon World Champion, makes this her second win in as many starts in the WTPS this season, and will be the defending champion at this year’s World Championships in Abu Dhabi.
In the PTS2 Women’s, Australia’s Anu Francis has earned crucial qualifying points ahead the 2022 World Championships and the Paris Paralympic qualifying period with Silver on her WTPS debut, behind an ecstatic Hailey Danz of the USA took the win and Liisa Lilja of Finland claiming bronze.
Francis, the 26-year old para-triathlete from South Australia, has her sights set on Paris 2024 after making the switch to triathlon from rowing after being talent-identified in 2020 and becoming Oceania Paratriathlon Champion in her class earlier this year.
In the men’s races, Australia’s Jeremy Peacock pushed hard to the end in a sprint finish to land just three seconds off the podium in 4th in the PTS4, David Bryant also finishing 4th in the PTS5 race and Commonwealth Games sensation Sam Harding with guide Luke Harvey finishing 6th in the PTVI race and first WTPS race, just six days on from taking Silver in Birmingham.
The World Triathlon Para Series Swansea was the final stop of the series this year, after Yokohama and Montreal, with Australia's para triathletes now targeting the World Championships that will take place in Abu Dhabi in November.
Results: 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Swansea • World Triathlon
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