Australia’s top paratriathletes are set to descend on Devonport this weekend, with the ITU World Paratriathlon Series making its return to Australia for the first time since 2017 to open the international racing season.
With Paralympic Qualification points on the line and the Devonport Triathlon taking the step up from World Cup to World Paratriathlon Series (WPS), there is unlikely to be a shortage of high stakes racing come Saturday afternoon.
Among those competing is 2019 Yokohama WPS silver medallist, Jonathan Goerlach. Following a steady 2019 season that saw him produce a string of strong results at World Cup and WPS level, Goerlach has made no secret of his Tokyo ambitions.
Speaking to Triathlon Australia, Goerlach said that he’s looking forward to seeing how he measures up against the strong international field on home soil.
“Competition and depth of field in the PTVI Mens category is so strong that a number of athletes could win on any given day,” Goerlach said.
“All I know is that I’ve been training really hard producing positive improvements, so now it’s all about getting out there and putting it all together on race day.”
“The results will work themselves out but I feel great and hope to be back on another Devonport dais.”
Goerlach will be joined by a quality field in the PTVI class in Devonport, including fellow Australian Gerrad Gosens, 2019 Devonport Paratriathlon World Cup winner France’s Arnaud Grandjean, and Serbian Lazar Filipovic.
2016 Rio Paralympic champion Katie Kelly will be looking to hit her stride come Saturday, with a world-class group of paratriathletes set to appear in the Women’s PTVI class. Following a strong early season performance at the Oceania Paratriathlon Championships in Newcastle, Kelly will need to put her best foot forward in Devonport, with 2019 Alanya World Cup winner Anna Barbaro (ITA) and 2016 Aquathlon World Champion Amy Dixon (USA) among those set to take to the starting line this weekend.
The Women’s PTWC class is set up for a heated affair, with four of the top six ranked athletes headed to Devonport in search of key Paralympic qualification points. Reigning World Champion Lauren Parker and dual World Champion Emily Tapp will go toe to toe on Saturday seeking an early season WPS win. They’ll be joined by some tough competition including Paralympic swimmer and cyclist Christiane Reppe (GER), 2019 Milan ITU WPS winner Eva Maria Moral Pedrero (ESP) and 2019 Alanya ITU Paratriathlon World Cup winner Margret Ijdema (NED).
Five-time World Championship medallist Sally Pilbeam looks set to continue her chase for valuable Paralympic qualification points in the PTS4 field in a bid to contest the Paralympic PTS5 medal in Tokyo. Facing strong competition in 2017 World Champion (PTS4) Mami Tani (JPN) and 2019 World Championship bronze medallist (PTS4) Elke Van Engelen (GER), Pilbeam will have her work cut out for her as she hunts for a podium finish in Devonport.
2019 Devonport Paratriathlon World Cup winner, Kate Næss (nee Doughty) will be looking to take home another win in Tasmania in the PTS5 class. After hitting her stride late in the 2019 season with a win at the 2019 Banyoles World Cup, Næss looks set to continue to carry her momentum into Devonport following a confident win earlier this year in Newcastle.
Making her WPS debut alongside Næss will be teenager Molly Wallace. After aging into ITU Paratriathlon in 2019, Wallace is set to make her first WPS appearance in Devonport against a strong field that includes Ukraine’s Alisa Kolpakchy and Hungary’s Petra Levay.
Rio Paralympian Nic Beveridge will face a challenging field in the Men’s PTWC class, with fellow Rio Paralympian Jumpei Kimura (JPN), 2019 ITU Banyoles ITU Paratriathlon World Cup winner Alexandre Paviza (FRA) and 2019 Alanya ITU Paratriathlon World Cup winner Florian Brungraber (AUT) all set to take to the starting line on Saturday.
While Glen Jarvis (PTS2), Clint Pickin (PTS4), Liam Twomey (PTS4) and David Bryant (PTS5) will all be looking to back up their solid performances at the 2020 Newcastle Oceania Paratriathlon Championships earlier this year with a strong result in Devonport this weekend.
The 2020 Devonport ITU World Paratriathlon Series will be available to stream live and free on TriathlonLIVE.tv from 2:45pm on Saturday February 29, thanks to our Broadcast Partner, Optus.
2020 Devonport ITU World Paratriathlon Series
Lauren Parker (PTWC)
Emily Tapp (PTWC)
Nic Beveridge (PTWC)
Glen Jarvis (PTS2)
Sally Pilbeam (PTS4)
Clint Pickin (PTS4)
Liam Twomey (PTS4)
Kate Næss (PTS5)
Molly Wallace (PTS5)
David Bryant (PTS5)
Katie Kelly (PTVI)
Jonathan Goerlach (PTVI)
Gerrad Gosens (PTVI)
Photo Credit: Con Chronis | Triathlon Australia