In gusty conditions, Australia’s top paratriathletes have proved they can hang with the world’s best, scoring a total of seven medals at the 2020 Devonport World Paratriathlon Series (WPS) earlier this afternoon.
Heralding exciting things to come, Australia’s paratriathletes claimed three gold, two silver and two bronze as well as key Paralympic Qualification points in the first major race of the international racing season.
Kate Næss (nee Doughty) signalled her return to world-class form, claiming her second WPS PTS5 win in 12 months in Devonport.
In just her fourth WPS appearance since her return to racing last February following the birth of her son Henrik, Næss dominated her class to claim the win in 1:12:46.30, in what she says is one of her strongest performances to date.
Speaking to Triathlon Australia, Næss said that she is “really happy” with where her performance is at.
“To be honest, I think that’s one of the toughest courses I’ve ever raced on.”
“It’s always great to come to Devonport but it’s always a bit of an unknown of what the conditions are gonna be so it was quite testing out on the bike, really just holding it there.”
“On the run, I just really had to stay in the moment and get through it. I think it was probably one of my best runs to date and that’s what I came here for.”
Holding a comfortable lead right after existing the water, Næss looked in her element as she stormed home to gold, just under four minutes ahead of second placed Alisa Kolpakchy (UKR). Hungary’s Petra Levay rounded out the podium in third.
Competing alongside Næss, teenager Molly Wallace claimed a respectable fifth in her first WPS appearance.
Lauren Parker and Emily Tapp put together storming performances in the PTWC class, going one-two on the podium for Australia.
Taking advantage of the choppy surf swim, Parker set the tone of the race exiting the water first with a sizeable lead from Tapp.
Powering through the bike, the Novocastrian was unrelenting as she headed onto the run leg with more than three minutes over her competitors, while Tapp battled through the blustery bike course to follow out onto the run with a huge deficit to overcome.
With Parker’s gold medal all but a certainty, Tapp put down a phenomenal run leg to chase down her competitors and secure the silver medal behind Parker. The Netherland’s Margret Ijdema rounded out the podium in third.
Jonathan Goerlach (PTVI) got his 2020 season underway with a bang, chasing down a world-class field of competitors to take home another gold medal for the Aussies in Devonport.
Despite coming out of the swim well down on the leaders, Goerlach and guide Sam Douglas worked hard on the bike to chase down their competition and head out onto the run in fourth. Running hard against the wind, the Wollongong based athlete ran down his competitors to take home gold and secure valuable Paralympic Qualification points. Fellow countryman Gerrad Gosens finished in a respectable 9th.
In the PTS5 class, David Bryant put together a formidable swim and bike to take home a silver medal behind Austria’s Guenther Matzinger. With the second fastest swim and bike split of his class, Bryant was well positioned heading onto the run. However, Matzinger had Bryant within his sights, chasing him down to claim the overall win, with Bryant crossing a few second later.
Five-time World Championship medallist Sally Pilbeam claimed bronze amongst a highly competitive field in the PTS4 class. Exiting the water in second, Pilbeam fought hard against the blustery conditions on the bike and run to take the final podium spot behind eventual winner Elke Van Engelen (GER) and second-placed Mami Tani (JPN)
Nic Beveridge also powered home to a bronze medal in the Men’s PTWC class. Despite coming off a challenging bike leg in fifth, Beveridge put down a fantastic final leg to run into third place behind Austria’s Florian Brungraber and Japan’s Jumpei Kimura.
Glen Jarvis finishing 4th in the PTS2 class, while Clint Pickin and Liam Twomey took home 6th and 10th in the PTS4, respectively.
2020 Devonport World Paratriathlon Series
1st – Lauren Parker (PTWC)
1st – Kate Næss (PTS5)
1st - Jonathan Goerlach (PTVI)
2nd – Emily Tapp (PTWC)
2nd – David Bryant (PTS5)
3rd – Nic Beveridge (PTWC)
3rd – Sally Pilbeam (PTS4)
4th – Glen Jarvis (PTS2)
5th – Molly Wallace (PTS5)
6th – Clint Pickin (PTS4)
9th - Gerrad Gosens (PTVI)
10th – Liam Twomey (PTS4)
Photo Credit: Delly Carr | Triathlon Australia