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Daniel and Givens golden in Yokohama and Aguilas

Stefan Daniel and Chantal Givens each take the win at the Yokohama and Aguilas World Paratriathlon Events this weekend.

Credit: ITU Media/Delly Carr
Credit: ITU Media/Delly Carr

Stefan Daniel opened his 2016 season in the same dominant fashion he ended with last year. The 19-year-old impressed crowds at the World Paratriathlon Event in Yokohama, Japan this weekend with a win in the men’s PT4 category, finishing the sprint distance triathlon in a remarkable 00:58:56. Daniel had a phenomenal 2015 season, winning Canada’s first ever gold medal at the world paratriathlon championship in Chicago and heading in Rio as the gold medal favourite.

Daniel executed a solid race from the beginning. “I tried to get on the feet of the Brazilian and Mexican athletes,” he said. “They are really strong swimmers. It was choppy waters so that helped block some water for me.”

From there, he hung with the leaders on the bike course and kicked it into high gear for the run, delivering the fastest run split of the day in 00:16:48 for the 5K.

Daniel has had consistently stellar performances over the past four years, landing on the podium at his last three world championship races and consistently earning gold at World Paratriathlon Events around the world. He also just signed a contract with Nike, heading into the Paralympics.

Also in Yokohama, Christine Robbins and her guide Sasha Boulton continued their quest for a spot on the Rio start line. The two took fourth in the women’s PT5 category for visually-impaired athletes. Pierre Ouelet of Quebec placed ninth in the men’s PT1 category.

In Spain this morning, Canada’s Chantal Givens also earned herself a gold medal in the women’s PT4 category at the Aguilas Paratriathlon Event.

Givens clocked the fastest bike split of the race in 00:36:55 after overcoming a nearly three-minute deficit behind the leader, Great Britain’s Kerry Large, heading into T2. She finished off the race with a 00:20:59 run split. Her win also earned her a spot to the Paralympics in Rio.