By Merryn Sherwood on 04/05/11 at 7:05 am
Frenchman Benjamin Landier dashed Spain’s hopes of a podium sweep in the first cross paratriathlon world titles last week, keeping the host’s total to just four out of five gold medals at the inaugural ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships in Extremadura.
Spain picked up four goal medals, in the Paratriathlon2, Paratriathlon3, Paratriathlon4 and Paratriathlon6 categories with Ricardo Marin, Ivan Hompanera, Toni Franco and Fernando Riano respectively claiming the first world titles on the course where paratriathletes didn’t just have to contend with the competition from other athletes but mud turning the bike and run legs into a technically challenging battle.
Landier posted the fastest time by any paratriathlete across the 1km swim, 20km cross country bike and 6km cross country run, posting a time of 2 hours 1 minute and 3 seconds to beat Miguel A. Ubeda Salmerón home in the Paratriathlon6 category.
A total of 14 athletes from four different countries, Spain, Brazil, Great Britain and France, competed across the five different categories.
The last 12 months has already been a big year for paratriathlon, with the official announcement that the sport will join the Paralympic programme in Rio 2016. More than 5,000 fans backed ITU’s bid campaign “Paratriathlon for Paralympics”, and the International Paralympic Committee’s Governing Board officially accepted the sport for the Rio 2016 Games in December 2010.
Later this year in Beijing, a total of 27 nations from all five continents have pledged to participate at the 2011 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Beijing. That will be the largest number of countries represented at an ITU Paratriathlon World Championships and those 27 countries also made a commitment to host paratriathlon national championships from 2011 onwards.
The ITU is a dedicated supporter of paratriathlon and has held Paratriathlon World Championships each year since 1995.
The first ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships were held in El Anillo, Extremadura in Spain. South Africa’s Conrad Stoltz won the elite men’s title and Canadian Melanie McQuaid won the elite women’s title.
Find more details about this event - 2011 Extremadura ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships