Just a few days after claiming silver at the UCI Para-Cycling Road World Cup in Belgium, British Paratriathlete George Peasgood had another brilliant performance on the other side of the world, to claim the be the first crossing the finish line at the 2018 Yokohama ITU World Paratriathlon Series in the PTS5 class. In the female category, the victory was for her compatriot Lauren Steadman, making it a great day for the British paratriathletes competing on the land of the rising sun.
The sun had indeed risen for the occasion, with Yokohama ready to welcome paratriathletes from all over the world with a sunny and warm day, and with more than 80 paratriathletes from all over the world competing in the 12 classes over a sprint distance course.
The Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medalist and double World Champion Jetze Plat (NED) was one of the ones who performed exactly as planned in WPS Yokohama, to claim the title with a flawless race, leading his category in the swim, the bike and the run, and crossing the finish line on first place. Right behind him, his teammate Gert Schipper, who didn’t have the best swim but never gave up and was even faster than Plat in the last segment of the race, enough to grant him the silver medal. In third place, the 2018 Commonwealth Games golden boy, the Royal marine Comando Josepth Towsend.
In the women’s category, the victory was for a local paratriathlete, Wakako Tsuchida, who despite having one of the slowest times in the swim, overcame all the competitors with an excellent run, almost four minutes faster than her rivals. Behind her, another hero from the Commonwealth Games, the Aussie Lauren Parker, an athlete who suffered the accident that left her paralysed only one year ago and is improving race by race. On her third race as a paratriathlete, she grabbed the silver medal. In bronze came one of the newest faces to the Paratriathlon circuit, Ahlya Lettemberger, who passed Spaniard Eva Maria Moral Pedrero in the last meters of the running course.
The current World Champion of the PTVI class, British Dave Ellis, had a dominant performance in Yokohama, with over a minute difference on each of the three segments, to beat one of the newcomers this season: Jose Luis Garcia Serrano and his guide (ESP). The Spaniard, who lives and trains in Madrid, is having his best season ever, after claiming silver in Aguilas World Cup last weekend and again silver in WPS Yokohama.
Behind them, the third pair crossing the finish line, stopping the clock on 01.05.45 was the Slovenian Alen Kobilica.
In the women’s category, the victory was for another Spanish couple, Susana Rodriguez and her guide. Even dough during the swim and the bike they were closely followed by Elizabeth Baker (USA), when it all came down to the run the Spaniards pushed hard enough to leave them almost three minutes behind. The bronze medal was for the Italian couple, Anna Barbaro and her guide.
Mark Barr gave USA a gold medal in the PTS2 class that left him in the first place of the Paratriathlon rankings. His past as a swimmer gave him enough distance with another of the race favorites, French Stephane Bahier, who could only finish second. But indeed the run of the day was for the Spaniard Lionel Morales, with the fastest split, and even though he struggled a bit during transitions, his strong run was enough to earn the third place.
On the women’s side, American Paralympic gold medallist, Allisa Seely took the lead of the race since the first strokes in the water and never gave up that first position. Her teammate Hailey Danz crossed the finish line right behind her, with the British Fran Brown claiming bronze.
With only three men competing in this class, Justin Godfrey (AUS) was the last athlete out of the water, but his strong bike skills along with his dominant run were enough to get him the second title of a World Paratriathlon Series, after the one he got in Gold Coast in 2017. Behind him, Ryan Taylor (GBR) crossed the finish line on second, with Spaniard Joaquin Carrasco on third place.
In the women’s race, and with only one athlete competing, the gold medal was for Elise Marc, from France.
The second French gold medal of the day was for Alexis Hanquinquant, who has improved substantially his run to be able to keep up the pace and stay on top of the podium, as he did in Yokohama. Jamie Brown (USA) was the one who finished in the second place, while Steven Crowley (GBR) claimed bronze.
Another inspirational moment lived in Yokohama was the victory of local heroe, Mami Tani, with one of the bests swim segments of the day. The Japanese, current World Champion, managed to keep herself in the lead despite the efforts of Anna Plotnikova, who finished in second place, and Sally Pilbeam, in third.
The best time among all classes in WPS Yokohama was for British paratriathlete George Peasgood. Russian Alexandre Ialchik had to fight for the second place with American Chris Hammer, who ended up in third place.
As per the women, the same scenario than with the men was repeated, and Lauren Steadman had the best results ever on an Olympic distance beating Rio 2016 gold medallist, Grace Norman (USA). The third place was then for Gwladys Lemoussu.