By ITU Admin on 30/07/09 at 12:00 am
A photo finish was required to determine 2nd and 3rd place in the TRI1 category (wheelchair) at the Accenture Paratriathlon Championships in New York City. 53 paratriathletes competed in this highly contested Olympic distance race which was part of the Nautica New York City Triathlon on July 26. The athletes braved the waters of the Hudson River with a 1500m point to point swim, followed by a 40km bike on the Hudson Parkway; the race culminated with a 10km run in New York Citys picturesque Central Park. Although the rain poured down as athletes prepared for their race in the transition area, the weather could not dampen the spirits of these incredible athletes. Fortunately the rain passed through quickly and only puddles remained at the 7:00am race start.
Visually impaired parariathlete (TRI6) Aaron Scheidies clocked a 14:18 swim, 1:02:26 bike and 40:23 run for a total time of 2:02:15, less than four minutes behind the male pro racers to claim the fastest paratriathlon time and the TRI6 gold medal. Canadian, Ryan Van Praet earned silver, while Mark Griffin took bronze. On the womens side, hometown favourite Ivonne Mosquera from NYC won the TRI 6 gold medal and Kim Borowicz was the silver medallist.
Multiple world champion, Paul Martin had the most challengers. The TRI5 category had the largest field with nine male triathletes in the below knee amputee category. JP Theberge raced through the swim just ahead of Martin and headed out of T1 with an eight second lead. At the end of the day it was Theberge, the man who had chased Martin in so many past events who claimed the victory with a time of 2:13:17. Martin raced to a second place finish with a time of 2:16:13, outpacing Rivaldo Martins of Brazil by only 24 seconds. The Brazilian claimed the third podium spot. In the womens race Kelly Bruno finished first, followed by Amy Dodson and Jean Draper to claim second and third respectively.
In the TRI4 category (arm impairment) Joel Rosinbum was the victor, Brandon Erickson earned silver while Sebastian Cila rounded out the podium. Robin Caruso claimed the gold medal for the women in the division. In the TRI3 class (Les Autres), Dave Linn led Michael Laforgia out of the water. Linn continued to make gradual gains throughout each part of the race to reach the top podium spot. Laforgia settled for second place. Beth Price claimed the gold TRI3 womens medal.
Two former world champions battled it out in the TRI2 category that includes above knee amputees. Grant Darby of Canada led his category out of the water. Matt Perkins, the 2008 world champion, overtook Darby early in the bike. Darby kept his sights on Perkins and Darby regained the lead for several kilometers but Perkins found the extra gear and led through the rest of the race to claim gold. Darby held on to second place while Geoff Turner finished third in the field of seven. For the women, Sandy Dukat outpaced Sarah Reinersten for first place. Reinersten and Scout Bassett earned second and third podium finishes respectively.
It was a battle for silver in the Wheelchair category (TRI1) at the Accenture Paratriathlon Championships. Oscar Sanchez won the gold medal with a time of 2:14:30. Danial Gade had a convincing ten minute lead for second place out of T2, but George Gallego in third place was not about to quit. Gallego posted the fastest 10km split, 41:41, ten minutes faster than Gade. Both athletes barreled down the finishing chute resulting in the same time for both athletes at the line. The photo finish gave the Silver to Gade and the bronze to Gallego. Minda Dentler earned the gold medal for the womens category.
The caliber and depth of field of each of the paratriathlon categories increases each year at the Accenture Paratriathlon Championships in New York City. commented Grant Darby, ITU Paratriathlon Chair, We will see many of these top athletes compete in two weeks time at the London Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Series and again in September at the Gold Coast Grand Final. We saw many challenges at the finish line here in New York and we will see many more great finishes at the Gold Coast, when the best in world come head-to-head.