World Triathlon Paths to Paris: Emma Meyers

by Ben Eastman on 28 May, 2024 10:13 • Español
World Triathlon Paths to Paris: Emma Meyers

Life is pretty full-on right now for Emma Meyers (USA). When World Triathlon caught up with the rising American Para-triathlete as part of the Paths to Paris series, she was only days away from the World Para Series race Yokohama as well as being in the thick of her final school exams. While she was in Japan, she missed one exam that she had to make up for when she got back home. Indeed, having raced on the Saturday, there was no respite upon her return.

“I have two finals Monday morning, two finals Tuesday, and two finals Wednesday (13-15 May),” explained Meyers. “It is very challenging at times. I have homework I need to do while here in Japan. Now that I am getting ready for college and getting ready for collegiate racing, it is busier. I have been very lucky to have understanding teachers and coaches.”

Thereafter, once what may prove one of the busiest weeks of her season is over, she faces the small matter of a debut at the Paralympic Games in Paris.

Thinking of Paris Games

Meyers raced at the Test Event last summer which only heightened her anticipation for the real thing.

“I loved the venue and I loved the experience of the Test Event,” she said. “It was nice to get familiar with the bike course and with the run course, knowing it’s so hilly, and that there’s a bunch of different types of track around the course.”

As things stand, Meyers is ranked 4th in the women’s PTS4 Paralympic rankings. As the top-9 athletes in her class will qualify for Paris (in addition to the five highest ranked women in the PTS3 class as the two fields will be merged), the young American will in all likelihood step up to the start line. When she does, however, she will be one of the youngest Para-triathletes at the Games.

Age is just a number

Born in 2006, Meyers is part of a new generation of Para-triathletes that have made their presence known on the world stage. Last season, she belied her years to win the World Para Series stop in Swansea.

“It definitely was exciting! It was a good race.”

Her victory in Swansea helped to boost her confidence going forward and showed “what I can accomplish and my capabilities”. As time goes on, Meyers is gaining confidence while also “just looking at the numbers and trusting the process”.

“Being young,” noted Meyers, “I do have some advantages against some of my competitors, like I recover easily.” She added, “I’m constantly learning new things. Each race I do, I get a new takeaway and something I can work on.”

“Right now, no one expects me to win. I’m just working on learning everything I can.”

Learning on the job

When it comes to learning, there are few better role models for Meyers than Kelly Elmlinger (USA). The reigning Paralympic champion, Elmlinger has dominated the women’s PTS4 class for years. She has only lost once since the Tokyo Games – she was defeated at the 2022 World Championships and settled for the silver medal – and has generally been imperious.
On the surface, it seems it would be easy to feel daunted going up against such a prolific opponent. However Meyers viewed it differently.

“Kelly Elmlinger has been a great teammate to me. She has been mentoring me since I first started World Triathlon racing and we have plans to train together this summer after I graduate. I respect her and definitely look up to her.”

“My goal is in the future to be as good as her,” added Meyers. With a first World Para Series win under her belt already, she is certainly on her towards realising that ambition.


And so, to Yokohama. Meyers arrived in Japan having started her season well. She finished 2nd behind Elmlinger at the Americas Para-triathlon Championships in Miami in March. Yokohama, though, represented a step up in level.

“This is my first international race this season,” she noted. “Competing at this race will allow me to see where I am at and what I need to work on compared to the other strong racers.” 
“I’m feeling pretty good. I did this course last year so I’m familiar with it. I’m excited for this race specifically just because I’ve been working on specific things and I’m looking forward to seeing how they’ll pay off in the race.”

At the same time, Meyers noted how strong the competition would be in Yokohama as practically the entire forecasted Paralympic field would be present. Factoring in the additional complication of her exams, she was equanimous prior to the race.

“Obviously I like to have good results but also I really don’t have a lot of high stakes for this race. It’s about getting out there and racing and seeing where I stand and what I need to work on for the upcoming races.”

In the aftermath

It is after the racing in Yokohama that we speak again. Meyers settled for 6th place in her World Para Series opener.

“Performance-wise, it was an okay race. I started the race tired from all the end of the school year and graduation activities and requirements and I wasn’t feeling the best during the bike. And now that I am racing against all of the best of the best at the same time I know where I stand on each of the disciplines.”

“Every race that I do I gain a bit more experience and have things to take away from the race.”

Meyers plans to race once more in the build-up to the Paralympic Games and, having come through a truly hectic week, she can now dial in her approach to Paris. In 2024 and beyond, Emma Meyers is just getting started and as she put it, “I am excited for what the future holds.”

Article gallery
Related Event: 2024 World Triathlon Para Series Yokohama
11 May, 2024 • event pageall results
Results: PTS4 Women
1. Kelly Elmlinger USA 01:10:52
2. Marta Francés Gómez ESP 01:12:52
3. Elke Van Engelen GER 01:14:47
4. Sally Pilbeam AUS 01:14:50
5. Mami Tani JPN 01:15:03
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