All eyes will be on Paris this summer for the Olympics, but also for the Paralympics, which will take place from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8. Last year was an important build for the world’s top Para triathletes as they gathered important qualifying points for the games in Paris, making for an exciting year of competition.
That, combined with the various Para categories and distances, always makes this a tough category to call. As you’ll see from our list of contenders, it would have been very easy to make this a three- or four-way tie.
Ellis had another unstoppable year on the Para Cup front. A rare runner-up finish at the Europe Triathlon Championships Madrid was the only “blemish” (yeah, we’re with you – silver is hardly anything to scoff at!) to a perfect season that saw the Brit take his sixth VI world title.
The Frenchwoman continued her domination of the PTS3 category in 2023 with an unbeaten season, including the Paralympic preview in Paris in the PTS3 category. She hasn’t “lost” since a runner-up finish at the worlds in the Gold Coast in 2018.
The Spaniard hasn’t “lost” a race since Aug., 2022 (he came second at the Para Series race in Swansea). Molina dominated the year in the Men’s PTS3 division including his fifth world title in Pontevedra.
Another French athlete riding an unbeaten streak that he hopes to maintain right through the Paralympics in his home country, France’s Alexis Hanquinquant hasn’t been beaten in his last 23 races in the PTS4 category.
The American took her second world title after earning silver in 2022 in the PTS4 category while also enjoying an unbeaten season.
The silver medalist at the Tokyo Paralympics in the PTS5 category, Norman had an unbeaten year in 2023 as she gears up for another go for the gold in Paris this summer.
Para triathlete of the Year
A former professional triathlete (she finished second in the 25 to 29 age group at the 2015 Ironman World Championship), Australia’s Lauren Parker was in a terrible accident while on her last big ride before Ironman Australia in 2017. Paralyzed from the waist down, less than a year later Parker was competing in Para triathlon and was on the start line at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where she took third. A year later she took her first world title. She took her fourth world title in 2023.
In 2022 Parker set the Kona course record by two hours and, earlier that year, finished the incredibly tough world championship course in St. George, too. 2023 was spent focused on World Triathlon racing as she gears up for a run at the Paralympic gold medal in Paris after being outsprinted for gold at the Tokyo Games by American Kendall Gretsch. Parker was untouchable through 2023, beating Gretsch by 40 seconds in Pontevedra for that fourth world title.