Qualification for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games came to a close at the weekend following the final round of the ITU World Paratriathlon Event in Besancon, France. Britain provisionally has secured eight Paralympic slots, making it jointly the biggest team in Rio along with the USA.
Faye McClelland won gold in the PT4 class as the race was adapted from a triathlon to a duathlon due to the river being in flood. She finished ahead of teammate Kerry Large.
Joe Townsend and Dave Hill also won bronze medals in the PT1 and PT4 classes. Townsend has already secured a Paralympic slot for Great Britain, and will carry a lot of confidence forwards with his performance here.
Hill’s bronze secured the slot in his very competitive classification. The former Paralympic swimmer put together an excellent performance to win a medal despite his favoured discipline being dropped.
Head Coach, Jonathon Riall, said: “Subject to final confirmation from ITU, today’s performances secure our men’s PT4 slot and give us a total of eight places for Rio.”
Additional invitational slots may be granted by ITU to top up from the seven slots per category based on rankings. The British Triathlon nomination committee will meet this week to decide who will be put forward for selection to ParalympicsGB and will wait to hear about any additional invitational places. The final team will be confirmed on 15 July.
ITU World Champion Lauren Steadman (PT4) and ETU European Champion, Alison Patrick (PT5) have already met the qualification criteria. This week’s meeting will also confirm guides to go to Rio to support the PT5 athletes.
The next major event for Great Britain’s paratriathletes is the ITU World Championships in Rotterdam on 24 July. Triathlon will then make it’s debut at the Paralympic Games in September on Copacabana Beach.
Results; Besançon ITU World Paratriathlon Event; 2.5km run, 20km bike, 5km run:
- Geert Schipper, NED, 56:05
- Krige Schabort, USA, 56:53
- Joseph Townsend, GBR, 57:03
PT 4 Women
- Faye Mcclelland, GBR, 1:08:32
- Gwladys Lemoussu, FRA, 1:10:03
- Kerry Large, GBR, 1:15:06
- Yannick Bourseaux, FRA, 58:27
- Alexander Yalchik, RUS, 58:53
- David Hill, GBR, 59:35
- George Peasgood , GBR, 1:03:41
Picture of Joe Townsend – British Triathlon