Visually Impaired Para Triathletes set to make history at Commonwealth Games
After the Para Triathlon debut at Gold Coast 2018 for the PTWC athletes, those in the PTVI visually impaired category will make their Commonwealth Games debuts in Birmingham on Sunday morning.
Australia, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and South Africa and Wales will all be represented on the start lines, the athletes tackling a one lap, 750m swim in Sutton Park, transitioning to a taxing four-lap, 20km bike through the local neighbourhood’s leafy streets and 5km run back in the park, crowning the 2022 Commonwealth Games champions in front of the buzzing grandstands of the impressive purpose-built venue.
For the official list of broadcasters, click here.
Headlining the men’s race is Dave Ellis B3, the current men’s World Champion who was only prevented from winning a Paralympic medal in Tokyo by a mechanical on the bike as he was leading the field. Coming from a swimming background, Ellis – who has less than 10% vision - has worked with the likes of Tim Don and Mark Buckingham, but will be reunited with Luke Pollard as guide in Birmingham on Sunday as he hopes to light up the home crowd.
Likely to be his closest rival for gold is Jonathan Goerlach B3. The Australian has been racing at the top level since the 2012 World Championships, winning his first Para Series event on the Gold Coast in 2017. Finishing 8th at Tokyo 2020, Goerlach has a powerful run that could prove the difference if he is able to stay in touch out of the water.
Fellow Australian Sam Harding B3 has had a big impact in his first World Triathlon races including third in the A Coruna World Para Cup. The young talent to watch could be England’s Oscar Kelly B3, British Champion in 2021 and an exceptional swimmer as shown in his silver medal display in Montreal earlier this month.
Rhys Jones B3 represents Wales on the start line, South Africans David Jones B1 and 2021 national champion Gavin Kilpatrick B3 will be looking to make a name for himself and Northern Ireland’s Oliver Gunning B3 is the youngest man on the start line at just 17, guided by Kyle Duncan.
Paralympic silver medallist and 2017 World Champion Alison Peasgood B2 starts for Scotland as one of the clear favourites for the women’s title. Third at WTPS Abu Dhabi last November thanks to a lightning quick run, she was agonisingly close to a second Paralympic medal at Tokyo 2020, giving her plenty of motivation for another big performance as her category makes its Commonwealth Games debut.
Canada’s Jessica Tuomela B1 has been a revelation in the sport since her switch from swimming, winning a first WTPS in Edmonton in 2018 and the Tokyo Test Event a year later, before taking World Championship bronze in Lausanne, making her a firm favourite for a podium finish this weekend.
Young Katie Crowhurst B3 is the sole Englishwoman on the start and, having only made the switch from swimming to triathlon during the pandemic, could make a big impact in the coming years. Australian national champion Erica Burleigh B3 and Africa Champion Linsay Engelbrecht B3 complete the women’s field.
Full start lists can be found here.
11:55 - 28 Jul, 2022