When it comes to "super mum" status then Rio paratriathlete Kate Doughty is certainly in the final and arguably close to the fastest qualifier.
Fifth in Rio in 2016, Kate the 2015 world championship bronze medallist, finished fourth in the 2017 World Championships for PTS4 (arm amputee) category athletes, then married the love of her life, Norwegian Jarle Naess in early 2018, before giving birth to baby son Henrik.
Last year was a “baby gap year” as she took a break from training and competition as she enjoyed life as a mum.
But now with the support of her husband and family and with Tokyo 2020 very much on the horizon Kate is back again chasing her dreams and makes her ITU Paratriathlon Series return in Milan this weekend.
The 35-year-old University graduate and high performance consultant and psychologist, the former Australian Para equestrian star is hard at it under astute coach Danielle Stefano with a second Paralympics in her sights.
She’s based in Melbourne with coach Stefano and her ELOTIK Pro Triathlon team mates where Henrik has now become the official team mascot being present at most training sessions.
Her return to racing has started well with a win at the Oceania Paratriathlon Championships in Newcastle and a win at the Devonport World Cup earlier this year.
According to Stefano this weekend in Milan will be a good opportunity to see where she’s at against some of her main international competitors, reigning ITU World Champion Hannah Moore (GBR), Invictus Games star Kelly Elmlinger (USA) and Elke Van Engelen (GER) and gain some valuable racing in the lead up to the Paralympic Qualification Period and Tokyo Test Event later in the year.
“It’s definitely been a different sort of lead up for Kate, now juggling motherhood on top of her training and work, however being the dedicated professional that she is, she’s doing a magnificent job of multi-tasking,” said Stefano.
“Kate is enjoying the continual build back to peak performance with the process of getting to the start line in Tokyo 2020.”
Kate, along with a number of TA Paratriathletes including her squad mates Liam Twomey and David Bryant, recently teamed up with Cycling Australia, SASI and Paralympics Australia for a cycling skills camp at Broadford State Motorcycle Centre.
Stefano said the two-day camp was an ideal opportunity to learn and develop crucial cornering and TT skills which was targeted towards the Tokyo Paralympic course and 2019 Lausanne World Champs course.
The two day camp was made possible through our partner Commonwealth Games Australia, Paratriathlon Development Program.
Doughty will be joined in Milan by fellow paratriathletes, two-time ITU World Champion Sally Pilbeam; 2016 Rio Paralympian Nic Beveridge and blind triple Paralympic legend Gerrard Gosens.
WA’s school-teaching mother of two, Pilbeam said she was again looking forward to racing in Italy.
“It’s my first international race for this season, so it's a good opportunity to see where I'm at against some strong competition,” said Pilbeam.
“It's great to see really competitive fields in these races as Paratriathlon continues to grow. It's only going to get bigger as the sport heads into Tokyo 2020.”
For Beveridge, who has made the move from the Gold Coast to Sydney under the coaching of Paralympic legend Louise Sauvage, is revelling in his new surrounds.
“It’s been great, Louise is amazing, and everyone has made me feel so welcome,” said Beveridge, the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist.
“I’m looking forward to racing again, without too many expectations early on but knowing we also have qualification for Tokyo on our minds as well.”
Date 27 April 2019
Start Time 1:30PM local time (9.30pm AEST)