Lauren Parker has secured her own piece of Paratriathlon history, storming home to take the PTWC World Championship title in outstanding fashion in Lausanne, Switzerland overnight.
Taking the tape just over two minutes ahead of her nearest competitor, Parker put together a dominating race from start to finish to claim her maiden World Championship title, with the feat coming less than two years after the 31-year old made her paratriathlon debut.
Speaking to Triathlon Australia, Parker said that winning the World Championship title was ‘unreal’.
“I can’t even put into words how I’m feeling, I’m just so happy,” Parker said.
“The whole day went my way starting off from a great swim. I felt great on the bike and great on the run as well.”
Coach Dan Atkins told Triathlon Australia that he was pleased with the result, with Parker’s preparation clearly paying off.
“I won’t lie, I got a lot of goosebumps out there and got a bit emotional,” Atkins said.
“It’s been a really hard road for Loz and we’ve been preparing for this race for well over a year now…we targeted it and executed it absolutely perfectly; I’m one happy coach.”
Making the victory all the more sweet for the Novocastrian, the win comes off the back of a difficult 12-months which has seen Parker’s preparation and training punctuated by ongoing health issues.
Setting her gold medal intentions from the outset, Parker wasted no time in getting her race off to a cracking start, laying down a blistering 12.46 swim to put the field on the back foot. Keeping up the pace, Parker forced eventual silver and bronze medallists Kendall Gretsch (USA) and Christiane Reppe (GER) to make chase on the Australian through the bike and run. However, their efforts were to no avail, with Parker keeping hold of her commanding lead right until she crossed the finish line.
It wasn’t quite the day defending World Champion Emily Tapp would have hoped for, with arguably the most physically demanding course of the season causing some difficulty for the 28-year old. Digging deep, Tapp held on the secure an honourable 6th place.
David Bryant put together a strong race in the PTS5 class to take 8th, despite narrowly missing out on a Top 5 finish after being outrun by Jairo Ruiz Lopez (ESP), Carlos Rafael Viana (BRA), Guenther Matzinger (AUT) and Juan Carlos Cano Espinoza (MEX) in the final stages of the race.
Sally Pilbeam claimed 5th in a fierce PTS4 race that saw Hannah Moore (GBR) secure herself a stunning win off the back of a lightning fast swim.
Kate Doughty pushed herself through a difficult run to claim 6th in the PTS5 class, with British powerhouses Claire Cashmore (GBR) and Lauren Steadman (GBR) backing up their solid performances at the Tokyo Test Event with 1st and 2nd, respectively.
Jonathan Goerlach fought back from a tough swim to take 7th in the PTVI class, while Katie Kelly and Nic Beveridge overcame the arduous bike course to secure 8th and 9th in their respective classes.
Clint Pickin and Liam Twomey gained further valuable international racing experience in Lausanne, taking 10th and 12th in the PTS4 class.
Closing out a massive weekend of racing, Kira Hedgeland, Matt Hauser, Joanne Miller and Luke Willian secured Australia 6th at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Mixed U23-Junior Relay.
In yet another fantastic opportunity to refine their skills ahead of the Mixed Relay's Olympic debut in 2020, the Australians raced hard through the warm and wet conditions to bring home a respectable 6th place. New Zealand’s Hannah Knighton, Tayler Reid, Ainsley Thorpe and Hayden Wilde put together a tactical race to claim line honours over runners-up Great Britain and bronze medallists the United States of America.
ITU World Paratriathlon Grand Final
1st Lauren Parker (PTWC)
5th Sally Pilbeam (PTS4)
6th Emily Tapp (PTWC)
6th Kate Doughty (PTS5)
7th Jonathan Goerlach (PTVI)
8th Katie Kelly (PTVI)
8th David Bryant (PTS5)
9th Nic Beveridge (PTWC)
10th Clint Pickin (PTS4)
12th Liam Twomey (PTS4)
Junior-U23 Mixed Relay
1st New Zealand
2nd Great Britain
3rd United States of America
Photo Credit: Delly Carr | ITU Media