WTPS Leeds crowns its first para triathlon champions
On a glorious Saturday in Roundhay Park, Leeds, the inaugural AJ Bell World Triathlon Para Championships Leeds delivered some superb performances as the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Qualification period continued.
The men’s PTVI category got the day’s racing underway, the visually impaired men chasing precious qualification points for their category’s Paralympic debut this August. It was Great Britain’s Dave Ellis B3 who set the pace from the first strokes of the swim, Hector Catala Laparra B2 unable to reign him in but narrowly taking the silver ahead of Thibaut Rigaudeau B2.
“It’s just nice to be back and racing in front of people again. My last time was Funchal in 2019 so it’s been a while, now we just want to go out and do that again in Tokyo,” said Ellis.
There was a familiar face on top of the women’s PTVI podium after Spain’s Susana Rodriguez B1 once again put together a commanding performance to secure another Series gold, Anna Barbaro B1 (ITA) and Alison Peasgood B2 (GBR) completing the podium.
The men’s PTWC wheelchair race saw Netherlands’ Jetze Plat H2 extend his winning streak as he continues to look untouchable in his pursuit of the world title and Paralympic double, Geert Schipper H2 (NED) and Florian Brungraber H2 with silver and bronze.
“I really loved this course, it was a challenging bike and technical run and it’s been good to be able to race ahead of the Games,” said Gretsch. “I’m just happy to keep moving forward and have some more racing before Tokyo.”
Jules Ribstein (FRA) was in dominant mood on route to the men’s PTS2 title, 100 seconds ahead of Netherlands’ Maurits Morsink (NED), Adam Popp (USA) finishing third. USA’s Hailey Danz managed to edge Veronica Yoko Plebani to the women’s gold, Melissa Stockwell putting in the fastest 5km time of 22.58 to earn bronze.
Nico Van Der Burgt won the men’s PTS3, while Alexis Hanquinquant’s 15.42 time over the 5km run saw him fly to the men’s PTS4 gold by more than five minutes from Britain’s Michael Taylor, Eric Mcelvenny of USA with the bronze. Kelly Elmlinger (USA) earned the women’s gold in 1:17.37.
Another American, Chris Hammer, had a vintage performance to win the PTS5, his first race since bronze in Lausanne in 2019. A 14.55 run was to be the difference after an epic battle with Yannick Bourseux (FRA) in Roundhay Park, Jairo Ruiz Lopez (ESP) winning the bronze.
Lauren Steadman made the most of a home race to banish any fears of being race rusty, stretching to gold away from teammate Claire Cashmore, who was locked in an incredible battle with USA’s Grace Norman, passing the American for a final and decisive time as they hit the blue carpet to take the silver.
For the full results, click here
Related Event: AJ Bell 2021 World Triathlon Para Series Leeds
|Results: PTWC Men|
|1.||Jetze Plat H2||NED||01:01:47|
|2.||Geert Schipper H2||NED||01:06:57|
|3.||Florian Brungraber H2||AUT||01:09:20|
|4.||Ahmed Andaloussi H1||FRA||01:12:23|
|5.||Giovanni Achenza H1||ITA||01:12:43|
|Results: PTS2 Men|
|Results: PTS5 Women|