U.S. Paratriathletes Earn 3 Titles, 5 Medals at ITU Paratriathlon Worlds
by USA Triathlon
EDMONTON, Alberta — American paratriathletes capped off a successful Saturday for the United States at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final and World Championships at Hawrelak Park, collecting three world titles and five total medals.
Competing on a 750-meter swim, 20.4-kilometer bike, 5-kilometer run course, Kendall Gretsch (PT1, Madison, Wis.), Krige Schabort (PT1, Rome, Ga.) and Aaron Scheidies (PT5, Seattle, Wash.) will return home with gold medals. Also earning hardware for the U.S. was Hailey Danisewicz (PT2, Chicago, Ill.), who picked up a silver medal, and Chris Hammer (PT4, Salt Lake City, Utah), who raced his way to bronze.
“Definitely a really good feeling finishing first,” said Gretsch, who was competing in her first world championships. “Especially knowing I went as fast as I could, as hard as I could go on that course. It’s a different level, so I had more nerves beforehand and a little bit of pressure, not knowing how I would do here. It’s a relief.”
With exceptional weather and a challenging course, athletes were thrilled to have top performances against the best paratriathletes in the world.
“Today was an amazing day,” said Scheidies, who had the fastest overall time across the five sport classes. “The course was awesome for me and Colin [Riley, his guide], a great venue, we couldn’t have asked for better weather. It just came through, and I’m bringing home gold to the U.S.”
Interest in paratriathlon is at an all-time high as the sport approaches its Paralympic Games debut in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. Three classes (men’s PT1, men’s & women’s PT4) have been added to the Paralympic program, with three more to be announced at a later date. Visit usaparatriathlon.org for more on the sport of paratriathlon and the five sport classes.
Earlier in the day, Ben Kanute (Tucson, Ariz.) finished sixth in the men’s Under-23 World Championships. Kanute clocked in at 1:54:01 on the 1,500m swim, 43.2k bike, 10k run course, while Dorian Coninx of France took the win in 1:53:06. Kanute was with the lead group throughout most of the race, with a fourth-fastest swim split that allowed him to connect with the lead group on the bike. Kanute held on for the run and was the sixth athlete across the line, bettering his 28th-place finish in last year’s U23 World Championships.
Just four world championship events remain, with the men’s ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final set for noon MT on Sunday, Aug. 31. U23 women, age-group Standard (Olympic-Distance) World Championships and a junior/U23 mixed relay will also be contested through Monday, Sept. 1. Visit usatriathlon.org for coverage of each event.
ITU Paratriathlon World Championships
750m swim, 20.4k bike, 5k run
United States Medalists – Complete results
1. Kendall Gretsch (Madison, Wis.), 1:21:32
1. Krige Schabort (Rome, Ga.), 1:06:05
2. Hailey Danisewicz (Chicago, Ill.), 1:33:39
3. Chris Hammer (Salt Lake City, Utah), 1:03:45
1. Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.), 1:00:58
ITU Under-23 World Championships
1500m swim, 43.2k bike, 10k run
U23 Men – Complete results
1. Dorian Coninx (FRA), 1:53:06
2. Marc Austin (GBR), 1:53:20
3. Gordon Benson (GBR), 1:53:30
6. Ben Kanute (Tucson, Ariz.), 1:54:01
26. Hunter Lussi (Kensington, Md.), 1:57:14