Harding and MacDougall bag bronze in Swansea as Paralympic deadline nears

25 Jun 2024

Australia has secured two bronze medals at the World Triathlon Para Series Swansea, with Sam Harding (PTVI) and guide Aaron Royle delivering a strong first performance together, and Hannah MacDougall (PTS4) excelling in her series debut. 

Both Harding and MacDougall boosted their Paralympic qualification rankings ahead of this weekend’s World Triathlon Para Series Montreal, the final race of the Paralympic qualification period before it closes on July 1.

Harding moved up one spot to seventh place, while MacDougall has made a six spot jump to 14th.

For most classifications, the top nine athletes in the rankings can clinch quota spots for their nations, with Australian athletes having the opportunity to secure automatic nominations by ranking within the top five.

Earlier in the week, it was announced that two-time Olympian Royle would be Harding’s guide for the upcoming Paris Paralympic Games, pending selection. Swansea marked their debut race together and the pair enjoyed a strong start, with Harding securing his first podium at the level since March last year.

“I’m super happy with today’s race,” Harding shared.

“Huge thanks to Aaron Royle for taking on a guiding role. It’s pretty epic to have such a great guy and athlete taking me around the most technical races on the calendar.

“I had my best swim so far into a very strong ride and run coming away with a third place.”

For MacDougall, her third-place finish makes it five podiums from as many races, and a successful step-up to the World Triathlon Para Series level.

“A race to be proud of. A race that has been years in the making. A race that has taken a huge village. A race that keeps the Paris Paralympic dream alive,” MacDougall shared.

“It wasn’t perfect, but so much improvement across the board.

“From a heap more confidence in the open water, to chalk and chocolate from previous transitions, using my strength on the bike, to an amazing running leg helping with what felt like a marathon at the end of the triathlon.”

Additional results from Swansea include Jack Howell finishing fifth in the PTS5 category, while David Bryant did not finish, suffering a crash on the bike to end his race early. Jeremy Peacock finished sixth and Liam Twomey finished seventh in the PTS4 category.

Peacock, Twomey, Harding, and MacDougall will all take the start line in Montreal this weekend, with the Australian team bolstered by Nic Beveridge (PTWC), Thomas Goodman (PTS2), Glen Jarvis (PTS2), Sally Pilbeam (PTS4), Caroline Baird (PTVI), and Maggie Sandles (PTVI), who will all be eager to strengthen their spots in the rankings.

To view the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games Nomination Criteria, click here.
To view the World Triathlon Paralympic Games Qualification Rankings, 
click here.


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