A star-studded start list headed to sunny Stockton on Sunday, with the Oceania Triathlon Para Championships kicking off the 2023 season for Australia’s top paratriathletes
With the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games just around the corner, the event provided a platform for the athletes to showcase their skills and build momentum as they prepare for the year ahead.
In the PTWC Men category, Nic Beveridege claimed his third Oceania Championship title, while Justin Godfrey (PTS3) claimed back-to-back Oceania honours. Glen Jarvis won the PTS2 category, ahead of Brant Garvey. And Sam Harding, with guide Luke Harvey, took home gold in the PTIV race.
The PTS5 race was a fierce contest between veteran David Bryant and up-and-comer Jack Howell. Howell started strong, leading the two after the 750m swim and exiting T1 23 seconds ahead. However, Bryant quickly made-up time during the bike, overtaking Howell and taking a sizable lead into the run. Despite this setback, Howell made up 38 seconds during the run, putting pressure on Bryant. In the end, Bryant managed to maintain his lead and crossed the finish line 40 seconds ahead of Howell, securing his victory in the race and third Oceania Championship.
There was another close competition between Jeremy Peacock and Liam Twomey in the PTS4 race. The race was a showcase of impressive athleticism between the two. Twomey dominated the swim, taking an 80-second lead into T1. However, Peacock demonstrated his strength during the bike segment, making up time and exiting T2 with a 43-second lead. Peacock continued to extend his lead during the run to secure claim third Oceania Championships
In the women's categories, Lauren Parker won the PTSWC race, ahead of Sara Tait in second. Parker, competing in front of her home crowd, put on a dominant display to claim her fifth Oceania Championship title. She was cheered on by a supportive crowd as she crossed the finish line.
Anu Francis (PTS2), Sally Pilbeam (PTS4) and Kate Naess (PTS5) were also crowned Oceania Champions.
Attention now turns to Devonport in March for the first World Triathlon Para Series race of the year. The World Para Series is expected to attract Paralympic and World Champions to the Mersey Bluff precinct – which has a long and storied history of hosting major international triathlons.
Devonport Triathlon will also feature the Elite Oceania and Australian Sprint Triathlon Championships, the School Sport Australia Triathlon & Aquathlon Championships alongside Age Group racing.
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