International Paralympic Committee (IPC)
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International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

Para-triathlon worlds to draw attention in Auckland

Great Britain and USA favoured to win titles in lead-up to sport’s Paralympic debut at Rio 2016.

Great Britain's Faye McClelland, right, will try to defend her para-triathlon World Championship title in the women's TRI-6 class. © • Getty Images

With para-triathlon set to make its Paralympic Games debut at the Rio 2016 Games, Monday’s (22 October) 2012 ITU Para-Triathlon World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand have a lot of buzz surrounding them.

There will be 109 athletes from 21 different countries competing in the Championships, many of whom crossed over from other sports and are now aiming to qualify for Rio 2016.

The para-triathlon event features a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run across six different men’s and women’s classifications, starting and finishing at Queen’s Wharf in Auckland.

Athletes are classified based on how able they are to perform the three different disciplines. The TRI-1 class is for wheelchair users, TRI-2 for those with severe leg impairment, TRI-3 for les autres, TRI-4 for those with an arm impairment, TRI-5 for those with a moderate leg impairment and TRI-6 for those with a visual impairment.

Great Britain and USA will have the most athletes at the Championships, as 15 Brits and 31 Americans will take part. Last year, Great Britain won nine medals in total at the event, with USA taking home eight.

Four reigning world champions will represent the British this year, including Charlotte Ellis and Faye McClelland, who won the women’s TRI-4 and TRI-6 European titles, respectively, earlier this season.

Great Britain’s Jane Egan will be the favourite in the women’s TRI-1 class as she tries to defend her title, while Steve Judge aims to repeat as the men’s TRI-3 champion.

American Melissa Stockwell, an Iraq war veteran who competed in swimming at the Beijing 2008 Games, will look to defend her TRI-2 world title for the third consecutive year, while her teammate Dannielle McLaughlin hopes to repeat as the TRI-5 world champion.

France’s Yannick Bourseaux, also training to compete in cross-country skiing and biathlon at Sochi 2014, will be one to watch in the men’s TRI-4 class, as the former able-bodied triathlete will try to pick up another world title as a para-triathlete. He will have to outshine 2010 world champion Peter Boronkay of Hungary to do so.

 

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