With its sights set clearly on winning a gold medal at the sport’s Paralympic debut in 2016, Triathlon Canada announced its 2013 Paratriathlon World Championship team that will compete in the Grand Final in London, September 8-14, 2013.
The team of athletes, who were selected based on results from both domestic and international competitions, consist of a team of six athletes from across Canada who will compete in four of the six paratriathlon race categories including: wheelchair user; leg impairment above the knee; Les Autres; arm disability; leg impairment below the knee; and visual disability.
Quebec City’s Pierre Ouellet and Saskatoon’s Julian Nahachewsky will suit up in the men’s wheelchair division (Tri 1). Ottawa’s Jennifer Hopkins, who is a two-time World Champion, will compete in the Les Autres (Tri 3) class. Winnipeg’s Chantal Denholm will hit the start line in the women’s race, while Calgary’s Stefan Daniel will represent the Canucks in the men’s arm impairment class (Tri 4). Ryan Van Praet, of Chatham, Ont., will team up with guide Syd Trefiak in the men’s visually impaired category (Tri 6).
“Each of these athletes have demonstrated their fitness and elite level of racing through strong performances at international competitions this year, and we are confident they will be strong representatives for Canada in London, and on the road to Rio,” said Shaunna Taylor, paratriathlon high-performance director, Triathlon Canada, who added that Alan Carlsson has been brought on as the first official high-performance coach for Canada’ Paratriathlon Team.
“Our sport is still relatively young in Canada, and we are continuing to develop our program, but our mission is clear- to win World Championship and Paralympic medals. With this group of athletes, we feel our program is in good hands.”
The paratriathlon consists of a 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike course, and a five-kilometre run. Paratriathletes use equipment racing wheelchairs and hand cycles, along with sighted guides for athletes with a visual impairment.
Triathlon Canada has become increasingly more active in growing its paratriathlon program since the sport was introduced three years ago to debut at the 2016 Paralympic Games. In an attempt to maintain pace with the international growth, and increased competition at the elite level, Triathlon Canada has staged centralized training camps in advance of the World Championships over the last two years, and has increased racing opportunities at all levels both domestically and abroad. The focus is to contribute to Canada’s Paralympic medal count in 2016 and beyond.
“The sport is growing at a rapid pace around the world, and the performance bar is constantly being raised. Naming our first World Championship team of athletes is another critical step forward in developing medal-winners for Canada in Rio,” added Taylor. “Building a deep talent pool of athletes is critical to success in any sport so we look forward to introducing, and guiding, more athletes to our sport in an effort to build our domestic programs, with the ultimate goal of producing more Paralympic champions.”
The WTS Grand Final Team was selected base on the following pre-determined selection criteria:
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com