First national Paratriathlon championships held in Ireland
This year’s national championships in Ireland marked a landmark step for paratriathletes, with the first ever staging of a Paratriathlon National Championships.
While it attracted a small field it marked an important step in the development of triathlon in Ireland.
“Triathlon Ireland are putting a real focus of making triathlon accessible to juniors, beginners and those with disabilities so it was great to see so many people racing over the weekend. We’ve recently added a new Paratriathlete section to our website which provides people with some more information and we’ve entered discussions with Paralympics Ireland ahead of Rio 2016. We’re hoping to have some paratriathletes representing Ireland in ITU and ETU races over the coming years,” said Triathlon Ireland CEO, Matt McKerrow.
In Ireland’s inaugural Paratriathlon National Championships it was Tony Ward, piloted by TI President Mark Riseley, and Michael Delaney, piloted by Matt Coughlan in the CAT6 division who had a close fought race at the head of the field.
Delaney suffered some mechanical issues but managed to overcome a broken chain to make it to the finish shoot just seconds behind Ward. In a gesture of sporting goodwill Ward slowed so that both could cross the line in celebration together in a time of 1 hour 21 minutes and 3 seconds.
Chris Frost (CAT4) made the trip from the UK and was rewarded with a third place finish overall in the National Paratriathlon Championships.
Ward commented afterwards, “It was a really tough race. I struggled on the swim and the bike but I’m a strong runner so enjoyed that. I’ll definitely be back for more and I’ll be looking into some ITU races too.”
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