The 2020 Olympic Games may be recent history, but there is still a lot more international competition taking place in Tokyo. The 2020 Paralympic Games are currently taking place, and the paratriathlon events have wrapped up after two days of competition in Odaiba Marine Park. Men and women from around the globe took part in eight divisions with hopes of bringing home the gold. Every athlete who took part in this year’s paratriathlon inspired everyone watching with their incredible efforts. Olympic medal or not, they should all feel like champions. Here’s a summary of the event.
Men’s Individual PTWC
Jetze Plat of the Netherlands started off quickly thanks to a swim time of 9:31. His transitions weren’t the fastest in the field, but he made up for it by being the only competitor to ride sub 8 minutes. By the time he finished his four laps on the wheelchair run, he cruised to a 2-minute victory.
“Super happy with my performance, now focus on Tuesday’s TT, and we will celebrate later,” he later wrote on Instagram.
- Gold: Jetze Plat, Netherlands – 57:51
- Silver: Florian Brungraber, Austria – 59:55
- Bronze: Giovanni Achenza, Italy – 1:02:05
Men’s Individual PTS4
In this division, Alexis Hanquinquant of France dominated. His swim time of 9:42 was the only sub 10-minute time. After that, it was only a matter of making smooth transitions and maintaining his lead during the bike laps and the run. He held on to his lead and got the gold.
- Gold: Alexis Hanquinquant, France – 59:58
- Silver: Hideki Uda, Japan – 1:03:45
- Bronze: Alejandro Sánchez Palomero, Spain – 1:04:24
Men’s Individual PTS5
The PTS5 division was very competitive up until the run laps, when Martin Schulz of Germany was able to take the lead and hang on for the victory over British athlete George Peasgood. This is his second straight gold medal as he won this competition in Rio back in 2016. Stefan Daniel of Canada rounded out the top three for this year’s contest.
- Gold: Martin Schulz, Germany – 58:10
- Silver: George Peasgood, Great Britain – 58:55
- Bronze: Stefan Daniel, Canada – 59:22
Men’s Individual PTVI
This division allows guides to accompany the blind athletes throughout the event. Brad Snyder, with Greg Billington serving as his guide, was the only American male to medal with a gold-winning effort. He had the fastest swim time with a mark of 10:35 and was able to maintain a lead throughout the other two events. Héctor Catalá Laparra of Spain took the silver, and bronze went to Japanese competitor Satoru Yoneoka.
- Gold: Brad Snyder, USA – 1:01:16
- Silver: Héctor Catalá Laparra, Spain – 1:02:11
- Bronze: Satoru Yoneoka, Japan – 1:02:20
Women’s Individual PTWC
The women’s wheelchair division was the most dramatic out of all eight divisions. Lauren Parker of Australia started off with a great lead, but American Kendall Gretsch kept closing. Ultimately, Gretsch gave every ounce of energy into the final lap on the track to beat Parker by one second for the win. Eva Moral of Spain finished with the bronze medal 8 minutes after the dramatic conclusion.
- Gold: Kendall Gretsch, USA – 1:06:25
- Silver: Lauren Parker, Australia – 1:06:26
- Bronze: Eva Moral, Spain – 1:14:59
Women’s Individual PTS2
Allysa Seely of the USA was the defending champion from 2016 and successfully defended her title this year thanks to having the fastest total run time of 21:52. American teammate Hailey Danz finished less than one minute later to make this event a one-two finish for the USA.
- Gold: Allysa Seely, USA – 1:14:03
- Silver: Hailey Danz, USA – 1:14:58
- Bronze: Veronica Yoko Plebani, Italy – 1:15:55
Women’s Individual PTS5
Great Britain took two of the three podium divisions this year. The champion was Lauren Steadman. Her first transition time of 1:01 and total swim time of 31:45 helped her build an insurmountable lead. Despite suffering a calf injury earlier this year, there appeared to be no issues during Steadman’s run. Her slowest lap was still an impressive 5:01. She expressed joy and gratitude in a social media post after the medal ceremony:
“This meant everything,” she wrote. “Overwhelmed by the love I’ve received. All I can say is thank you to everyone who has been part of my journey no matter how big or small—without all of you it would’ve been impossible. From the bottom of my heart thank you.”
Grace Norman of the USA made a great effort and is returning home with silver. Claire Cashmore, the other Brit on the podium, took bronze.
- Gold: Lauren Steadman, Great Britain – 1:04:46
- Silver: Grace Norman, USA – 1:05:27
- Bronze: Claire Cashmore, Great Britain – 1:07:36
Women’s Individual PTVI
Susana Rodríguez was considered the favorite to take the victory in this division and the burden never bothered her. She took the gold this year while being guided by Sara Loehr, breaking the tape in a little over 67 minutes. This was almost 4 minutes faster than silver medal winner Anna Barbaro of Italy. Annouck Curzillat of France rounded out the top three.
- Gold: Susana Rodríguez, Spain – 1:07:15
- Silver: Anna Barbaro, Italy – 1:11:11
- Bronze: Annouck Curzillat, France – 1:11:45