Tarantello wins first Para title, Norman and Danz rule the Worlds in Pontevedra
The sun was shining over the pontoon on Saturday morning as the Para Triathlon World Championships got the second day of racing at the 2023 Championship Finals Pontevedra underway.
Athletes across six women’s categories were chasing the world titles, a 750m swim, 20km bike and 5km run between them and glory ahead, and they faced a tough course that tested the very best.
Tarantello seizes golden opportunity in PTVI
Susana Rodriguez B1 had 15 seconds over McClain Hermes B1 (USA) out of the water, Annouck Curzillat B1 and Francesca Tarantello B3 well placed, the Spanish favourite from nearby Vigo getting cheered on by the early crowds.
Rodrigues stretched away on the first lap but Tarnetello managed to reel her in somewhat on lap two as she got to grips with the course and by the time they hit T2 it was the young Italian with the lead after a lightning T2, exiting just as Curzillat entered the blue carpet, Rodrigues struggling with transition and with a penalty to serve.
The Italian’s lead was 29 seconds after lap one and she was able to hold on all the way for a delirious world title from a hugely disappointed Rodriguez, Curzillat two minutes off the leader, but her bronze position secured with Renner running out of course in her mission to chase down a podium place, and the Paris Test Event winner had to settle for fourth.
Parker powers to gold
Lauren Parker H1 led the women’s PTWC wheelchair race out of T1, Leanne Taylor H1 and Margret Ijdema H1 just a few seconds back as they headed onto the bike, Nicholls and Alvarez 40 seconds off the front, Kendall Gretsch H2 just over three minutes back at this stage.
Parker quickly settled into her favourite bike leg and took control of the race, Taylor going well in second and Jessica Ferreira H1 and Eva Maria Moral Pedrero H1, but the gap was doubling with each lap, 75 seconds to Taylor and the Brazilian and Spaniard wheel-to-wheel at the bell, Gretsch now within two minutes of the Australian.
Gretsch continued to eat into Parker’s lead over the run segment, it was down to 1m13s at the end of that first lap of three but there was to be no catching Parker, Gretsch running out of course to take silver 41 seconds back, Ferreira taking bronze over 3 minutes back.
Danz delivers PTS2 world title
The women’s PTS2 saw Hailey Danz delivering an excellent swim to take the early lead into T1, Japan’s Yukako Hata 25 seconds back with Allysa Seely (USA) on her heels and Melissa Stockwell a further 20 seconds back, Italy’s Veronica Yoko Plebani two minutes back.
Danz hoovered up the first bike lap to extend her lead to a minute over Seely who moved into second as Hata dropped back, Australia’s Anu Francis moving into two minutes off the front.
The American took even greater control on lap two as Francis moved into second but still unable to reduce the gap to the front under two minutes, Stockwell now almost 5 minutes off the pace.
Francis set about chasing down Danz from the opening of the 5km run and had halved the deficit after just one run lap, and another 30 seconds were shaved off at the bell, Seely now within 60 seconds of silver. It was to be Danz day, though, as she held off the charge from behind to take the tape and gold by 23 seconds from Francis, Seely with bronze just 70 seconds back.
Elise Marc scores PTS3 gold
The women’s PTS3 saw Mexico’s Kenia Yesenia Villalobos Vargas leading out of the swim, but it wouldn’t be long before Elise Marc moved to the front and put in a big gap over Villalobos and Sanne Koopman (NED).
The advantage was over four minutes by the end of the bike, Koopman two-and-a-half further back, and the Dutchwoman couldn’t close the gap on silver as Marc pulled clear to win the gold by over 11 minutes.
Elmlinger untouchable in PTS4 win
The returning Hannah Moore delivered a typically assured swim in the women’s PTS4 race, taking an 80-second gap into T1 over Marta Frances Gomez and 95 seconds over US duo Kelly Elmlinger and Emma Meyers.
Elmlinger took the bike by the throat and was reeling in Moore from the get-go, 55 seconds cut back after just one lap, 10 seconds at the bell and then taking a slender lead into transition over Moore, Frances 35 seconds back but with nearly three minutes over Engelen and Pilbeam in fourth and fifth.
Elmlinger’s charge did not stop there, though, and the American proceeded to demolish the 5km run to take the tap by more than three minutes. It was Frances hanging on for silver for Spain, while Sally Pilbeam rescued a brilliant bronze after passing Moore to hit the podium.
Norman storms to PTS5 title
An excellent swim from USA’s Grace Norman saw her out of the water right with Britain’s Claire Cashmore in the women’s PTS5, Canadian Kamylle Frenette in third and she and Lauren Steadman (GBR) found themselves between those two by the time they had exited T1 and headed onto the bike.
Norman soon passed Frenette and was at the front by the third lap, but the Paris Test Champion, Steadman and Cashmore were all shoulder-to-shoulder into T2. The trio looked to be setting up a grandstand finish as Cashmore was first out, but Norman had already hit the front by the time they turned out of the stadium and onto the main course, Steadman slipping back with a slow transition.
Norman pulled further and further clear on the run and had a minute advantage by the bell, the battle raging for silver and ultimately it was Cashmore with the stronger finish, Steadman crossing for the bronze.
For the full results, click here.