As the 2020 World Paratriathlon Series kicks off in Devonport this weekend, Australia’s Paralympic triathlon hopefuls will resume their campaign for Paralympic selection ahead of the June 28 deadline.
To help you follow on their journey to Tokyo, we’ve put together this handy guide on how it all works, who to watch and the dates you need to know.
HOW IT WORKS
In order to secure a Paralympic quota spot, athletes must be ranked within the top 9 of their class, according to the ITU Paralympic Qualification rankings.
To secure rankings, athletes can earn Paralympic Qualification points at World Paratriathlon Series (WPS) events, World Cups and Continental Championships. Their best three scores recorded throughout the Qualification period will count towards their final ranking on June 28, 2020.
A maximum of two quota spots can be secured per country per medal event, with National Federations notified of their quota positions at the end of the Qualification Period.
With no designated automatic qualifiying race for paratriathlon, the team itself is selected by the Triathlon Australia Elite Selection Committee (TAESC) with selected athletes then nominated to Paralympics Australia.
WHO TO WATCH
With the Female PTWC class making its Paralympic debut in Tokyo, reigning PTWC World Champion Lauren Parker has her sights set on paratriathlon’s biggest stage as she heads into the 2020 season.
Off the back of a breakout 2019 that saw her claim her maiden World Championship title (PTWC) as well as a handful of World Cup and World Paratriathlon Series podiums, Parker has the momentum behind her to produce another stellar season in 2020.
Joining her on the hunt for a Tokyo Paralympic berth will be 2018 Commonwealth Games teammate and dual world champion Emily Tapp. With a 2019 World Paratriathlon Series win and three World Cup silver medals under her belt, Tapp shows no signs of slowing down, having already gotten her 2020 season off to a strong start.
With the Male PTVI class also making its first Paralympic appearance in Tokyo, Jonathan Goerlach has been steadily securing key Paralympic Qualification points following a series of strong results on the World Cup and WPS circuit. Kicking off 2020 with the Oceania Paratriathlon Championship title in Newcastle last month, Goerlach looks set to carry his good form into the 2020 season.
Rio Paralympic Gold medallist, Katie Kelly is also among those chasing Paralympic selection. Kelly, who currently trains under Dan Atkins alongside guide Briarna Silk, heads into 2020 following a string of promising results throughout the 2019 season, including gold at the 2019 Devonport World Cup and silver at the 2019 Yokohama WPS.
2016 Rio Paralympian Kate Næss (nee Doughty) launched her bid for a second Paralympic campaign to great success, heralded by an emphatic win at the 2019 Milan WPS just months after giving birth to son Hendrik. Næss went on to produce steady results throughout the season before finding an extra boost of momentum at the tail end of 2019 with a win at the Banyoles ITU Paratriathlon World Cup in September.
Joining Næss in the PTS5 class through the 2020 season will be teenager Molly Wallace as she continues to find her feet in the world of WPS racing, having only aged up to ITU Paratriathlon at the start of 2019.
Sally Pilbeam will be turning her chase for Paralympic selection up a notch, with the five-time World Championship medallist seeking to class up from PTS4 to PTS5 in a bid to race on the world’s biggest stage. Pilbeam will charge into the 2020 season with good momentum behind her after taking a win at the 2019 Devonport Paratriathlon World Cup and medals at both the 2019 Milan WPS and 2019 Banyoles World Cup.
Nic Beveridge (PTWC), David Bryant (PTS5) and Clint Pickin (PTS4) all got their 2020 seasons off to a flying start with strong results at the 2020 Newcastle OTU Oceania Championships.
Bolstered by a number of World Cup podium finishes in 2019, including wins at the Devonport Paratriathlon World Cup for Beveridge and Bryant, there’s no doubt this trio will be ones to watch as they look to up the ante in 2020 in their hunt for Tokyo selection.
While Josh Kassulke (PTS5) and Liam Twomey (PTS4) will also continue to build their momentum off the back of positive 2019 domestic seasons that saw them take 1st and 2nd respectively at the 2019 Oceania Paratriathlon Championships.
DATES YOU NEED TO KNOW
- June 28, 2020 – End of ITU Paralympic Qualification Period
- July 5, 2020 - Deadline for NPCs to submit applications for Bipartite Invitations
- July 13, 2020 - ITU notifies in writing to the NPCs the allocation of qualification slots and Bipartite Invitations
- July 14, 2020 – Triathlon Australia notifies athletes of nomination status
- July 20, 2020 – Triathlon Australia nominate athletes to Paralympics Australia, including Bipartite Invitations
- July 20, 2020 - Paralympics Australia nomination deadline
- July 22, 2020 – NPCs confirm in writing to ITU the use of allocated qualification and Bipartite slots
- July 29, 2020 – ITU confirms in writing to the NPCs the reallocation of all unused qualification and Bipartite Commission Invitation slots
- August 3, 2020 – Deadline for Tokyo 2020 LOC to receive sport entry form submitted by NPCs
- August 25, 2020 – Tokyo Paralympic Opening Ceremony
- August 29 – 30, 2020 – Tokyo Paratriathlon Events
- September 6, 2020 – Tokyo Paralympic Closing Ceremony
Photo Credit: Con Chronis | Triathlon Australia