Best of 2017: Top Paratriathlete
Every year and every single new triathlon season always brings its own set of memorable moments such as exciting performances, close battles on the race course, personal best finishes and emotional triumphs. The 2017 season was no different, from the World Triathlon Series, World Cups, Multisport milestones and Paratriathlon Championships, the whole entire season was one for the record books.
So, what better way to honour an amazing season such as the one of 2017 than to name the Best of the Best!
Over the rest of the month of January we will be naming the “Best of 2017” moments from the year, anything from overall athletes to top race performances to inspirational finishes because when you have a year like we just had, you have to celebrate it!
Today we honour the elite athletes that inspire the triathlon community over and over again: TOP PARATRIATHLETE!
Male Top Paratriathlete: Jetze Plat (NED)
Plat has been unstoppable since 2015. He was undefeated the entire 2016 season and collected the inaugural gold medal at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games in the PTWC sport category. That fire did not slow down in 2017, he won in the Gold Coast World Paratriathlon Series, became the ETU European Champion and then ended his season by reclaiming his World Title in Rotterdam, in his home nation. The power does not stop there however, he also collected his fourth Ironman World Title in Kona at the Ironman World Championships, proving he is DOMINATE across all distances. Rightfully deserved, he was just nominated for the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability! There is no stopping this Dutchman!
Female Top Paratriathlete: Liisa Lilja (FIN)
Lilja had a career-best season in 2017. Competing in the PTS2 sport class, she became the ETU European Champion, won at the Iseo - Franciacorta ITU Paratriathlon World Cup and the Edmonton ITU World Paratriathlon Series. But what was most impressive in our eyes was her victory at the Rotterdam World Championships, where she overtook the undefeated and reigning World Champion and Paralympic Gold Medallist Allysa Seely (USA) to become the 2017 PTS2 World Champion - the first-time in her career! The 2018 season should be an exciting one for this Finn, as she will have to battle it out to keep her streak alive!