Just days after the World Triathlon Championships finals in the Galician city of Pontevedra, northwest Spain, Paralympic athletes returned to the blue carpet on Sunday evening in the second-ever open Para mixed relay event.
Aiming for Paralympic inclusion in the future, the race follows its successful debut in Abu Dhabi last November, with six national teams – USA (2), France, Brazil, Australia and Spain – and two international teams that also included athletes from Mexico and Japan all heading to Starting line.
Each athlete had to complete a 125m swim, 3.5km bike and 780m run (910m for the final stage) before tagging a teammate, and the basic rule regarding team composition is that athletes in wheelchairs must exit first .
Experienced Italian Giovanni Achenza H1 gave the World II team a strong start with USA’s Kendall Gretsch and Moana Francis (FRA) and Jessica Ferreira (BRA) also on board.
Owen Craven’s B3 moved through his leg to record the fastest and only time of the day at under 11 minutes to put Team USA II in control, handing it over to new PTS5 World Champion Grace Norman to extend their lead.
Pierre Antoine-Baily (FRA) and Sam Harding B3 (AUS) put together three good majors to keep their teams in the hunt, while Japan’s Hideki Oda continues the good work for the World 1 team.
The fourth and final round saw a great comeback by Team Brazil’s Ronan Cordero to take the bronze, Alexis Hanquinant helped Team France to the silver, but it was Team USA newcomer Carson Clough who brought home the gold for Team USA.
Full results are available here.
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