Steadman and Patrick secure Rio paratriathlon qualification
Lauren Steadman and Alison Patrick met the British Triathlon automatic qualification criteria for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games by winning gold at the Buffalo City ITU World Paratriathlon Event today in South Africa. An excellent start to the season saw the Great Britain team win three gold, two silver and one bronze medal.
Steadman and Patrick faced the challenge of coming out of winter training and securing gold in the first race of the season. They both achieved that in convincing fashion and will be put forward to ParalympicsGB for selection.
"I planned to keep it steady and ensure that nothing went wrong." Lauren Steadman
Steadman, 23, won the PT4 category and has now qualified for her third Paralympic Games, having competed twice before as a swimmer. She commented: “The top women weren’t here today so I planned to keep it steady and ensure that nothing went wrong. Meeting automatic qualification was the absolute priority.”
She added: “The swim was calm, the bike was a little hilly. Overall it was a great way to start the season!”
Alison Patrick, 28 from Dunfermline won the PT5 race for visually impaired athletes, guided by Nicole Walters. She finished more than three minutes ahead of Spain’s Susana Rodriguez and will look forward to her first Paralympic Games where she will line up against ITU world champion, Katie Kelly of Australia.
Ryan Taylor, 22, a former England cerebral palsy footballer from Derby, demonstrated that he is a rising talent with gold in the men’s PT2 event. He won bronze at the ITU World Championships and will have his opportunity to qualify for Rio later in the season.
David Hill started the season with silver in the men’s PT4 after an injury troubled 2015. He was within less than a minute off France’s Yannick Bourseaux, who won ITU World Championship bronze in September.
Phil Hogg was another silver medal winner in the PT1 category and Melissa Reid won bronze in the PT5 category with Hazel Smith guiding.
Head coach, Jonathon Riall said that it was “a great start to 2016 with two more quota places secured for Rio and two athletes meeting automatic qualification.”
Steadman and Patrick will be put forward for selection by ParalympicsGB in the summer. General selection for the rest of the team will take place following the ETU European Championships at the end of May and the conclusion of the ITU World Paratriathlon Event Series in June.
2016 Buffalo City ITU World Paratriathlon Event; Sunday 20 March; 750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run; Selected results:
1. Giovanni Achenza, ITA, 1:08:00
2. Phil Hogg, GBR, 1:12:09
3. Junpei Kimura, JPN, 1:17:28
1. Ryan Taylor, GBR, 1:13:33
2. Mohamed Lahna, MAR, 1:15:52
3. Michele Ferrarin, ITA, 1:16:23
1. Yannick Bourseaux, FRA, 1:04:03
2. David Hill, GBR, 1:04:55
3. Alexander Yalchik, RUS, 1:05:46
1. Lauren Steadman, GBR, 1:13:00
2. Gwladys Lemoussu, FRA, 1:18:21
3. Tamiris Hintz, HUN, 1:27:41
1. Alison Patrick, GBR, 1:07:31
2. Susana Rodriguez, ESP, 1:10:45
3. Melissa Reid, GBR, 1:10:59