Lauren Parker is eyeing up her second podium finish of the 2019 World Paratriathlon Series (WPS) as the tour touches down in Montreal, Canada this weekend.
After a courageous bronze medal finish in Yokohama last month, just six weeks post back surgery, Parker has made her high expectations for the coming year no secret to her competition as she heads into the first race of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification period.
Speaking to Triathlon Australia, Parker said that she’s looking forward to taking on another quality field in Montreal again this weekend.
“Training has been going well and it’s great to have an uninterrupted preparation this time, following the spinal surgery I had in the lead up to my last race, in Yokohama,” Parker said.
“The Montreal WPS event provides extra significance as not only will it be my first time racing in Canada, but it brings with it the first chance to score points to go towards qualification for next year’s Paralympics in Toyko.”
“I’ve highlighted the Paralympics as my major goal for the coming 18 months so every race from now on will be even more important. There is still plenty of improvement to come in my racing but I’m happy with how I’m progressing under my Coach Dan Atkins and race chair Coach Andrew Dawes.”
Joining Parker in the PTWC class will be Commonwealth Games teammate, Emily Tapp.
After a confident start to her 2019 season, Tapp will be looking to solidify her strong performances earlier this season on the Oceania and World Cup stages with an assertive result in Montreal.
Parker and Tapp will both be looking to put their best racing forward, with tough competition in the form of Yokohama WPS gold medallist, Jade Hall (GBR), an in-form Eva Maria Moral Pedrero (ESP) and rising star Kendall Gretsch (USA) who won silver in Yokohama, joining them on the starting line.
Kate Doughty is set to continue her return to the WPS tour, following a string of podium finishes kicking off her 2019 season. A stunning win in Milan in her first post-pregnancy WPS appearance makes Doughty one to keep an eye out for over the coming months.
Doughty’s Coach Danielle Stefano told Triathlon Australia that their focus heading into Montreal remains on Kate’s process in returning to racing.
“Whilst she’s had a great start to her comeback, we’re really focusing on the long game and making sure we take time now to build a solid foundation after having time out from the sport,” Stefano said.
“This week in Montreal is a great opportunity to see where she’s at against her competitors at this stage of her rebuild and the start of the qualification period.”
Sally Pilbeam will also be looking to continue her good start to 2019 with another confidence boosting result in the PTS4 class, off the back of bronze at Milan WPS in April. She’ll come up against stiff competition in Great Britain’s Hannah Moore and USA’s Kelly Elmlinger, with both athletes coming off the back of respective wins at Milan WPS and Yokohama WPS.
Jonathan Goerlach rounds out the Aussies taking to the course in Montreal, as he searches for his fourth podium finish of the season. Following strong showings at the Newcastle Oceania Championships, the Devonport World Cup and most recently at Yokohama WPS, Goerlach looks set to put forward some quality racing.
He’ll have his work cut out for him with a class field including top-ranked Spaniards Hector Catala Laparva and Jose Luis Garcia Serano and France’s Arnaud Grandjean headed to Montreal.
Paratriathlon: Friday June 28 – 07:30AM – Local | Friday June 28 – 9:45PM AEST