Australia’s top paratriathletes kicked off their 2020 season in emphatic fashion in hot and humid conditions at the 2020 Oceania Paratriathlon Championships in Newcastle over the Australia Day long weekend.
In front of a lively and vocal home crowd, Lauren Parker (PTWC) sped home to her second consecutive Oceania Championship in 01:13:43.
Taking an assertive lead right from the start, Parker put herself in a strong position heading out of the 750m swim and onto the bike leg. Parker established a three-minute gap over Commonwealth Games teammate, Emily Tapp by the end of the 20km bike, and headed out onto the run with a commanding lead to take the win in 01:13:43.
Speaking to Triathlon Australia, Parker said that racing in her hometown is simply the best way to start the season.
“I just felt great out there on course, I had so many supporters out there and I just really loved it,” Parker said.
“It’s so good to now have two major races in Australia this year, with Newcastle today and Devonport in four weeks’ time.”
“For Devonport to be a [World Paratriathlon Series race] is just so good for Australia. We get all the international racers coming over and it will be great competition there.”
“I hope to back up all my races this year. Getting the win today was awesome, and I hope to back up the win in Devonport, and take the win at the World Championships in Milan in May, leading into the Tokyo Paralympics.”
Jonathan Goerlach kicked off his 2020 season with a confidence boosting win in the PTVI class in Newcastle. Taking on paratriathlon stalwart Gerrad Gosens and ITU debutant Trevor Murphy, Goerlach blitzed through the swim, bike and run to take the win in 01:03:55, ahead of Gosens in 2nd, and Murphy in 3rd.
Dean Mchardie of Maitland Triathlon Club took 3rd in 01:45:34 in the men's PTS4.
Australia’s paratriathletes will now turn their focus towards Devonport, with the ITU World Paratriathlon Series returning to Australian shores next month for the first time since the 2018 ITU Gold Coast Grand Final.
2020 Newcastle OTU Oceania Paratriathlon Championships (*provisional results)
1st Lauren Parker (PTWC)
2nd Emily Tapp (PTWC)
3rd Sara Tait (PTWC)
1st Sally Pilbeam (PTS4)
1st Kate Næss (PTS5)
2nd Molly Wallace (PTS5)
1st Katie Kelly (PTVI)
1st Nic Beveridge (PTWC)
1st Glen Jarvis (PTS2)
1st Jeremy Peacock (PTS3)
1st Clint Pickin (PTS4)
2nd Liam Twomey (PTS4)
3rd Dean Mchardie (PTS4)
1st David Bryant (PTS5)
2nd Andrew Wilkinson (PTS5)
3rd Joshua Kassulke (PTS5)
1st Jonathan Goerlach (PTVI)
2nd Gerrad Gosens (PTVI)
3rd Trevor Murphy (PTVI)