Women's paratriathlon debuts at Paralympics tomorrow

On September 11, the fastest women from paratriathlon will take to Copacabana Beach as the first edition of ladies to ever race for Paralympic gold medals in the sport of paratriathlon.

| September 10, 2016 | NEWS

Rio 2016 - Frauen - Schwimmen

Photo >Frank Wechsel / spomedis

Stacked with powerhouse lineups, the women will get underway on Sunday at 10am with the women's PT4 sport class. Three minutes later, the PT2 sport class take off, while PT5 women go in waves beginning at 11:35am BRT. 

The women will swim 750m starting at Copacabana Beach, then bike 20km followed by a 5km run along Atlantic Avenue. Click here for the course.

Their toughest competition will come from Finland’s Liisa Lilja, who beat out Danisewicz for silver at World Championships in July. Just two years into the sport, the young Finnish athlete missed the podium at World Champs last year behind the Americans.

Steadman and Cunningham are both strong out in the front, with both of them having competed in swimming at two Paralympic Games.

However, perhaps their greatest challenge comes from young buck Grace Norman (USA), who won this year’s World Championships when Steadman crashed out and finished second at the World Championships last year. She’s incredibly quick off the bike, as the only woman to ever run under 20 minutes in the 5k run. Like her compatriot Seely in PT2, Norman will go on to run the 400m at athletics after triathlon.

What Alison Patrick (GBR), Melissa Reid (GBR) and Susana Rodriguez (ESP) lack in undefeated records, they make up for in experience. Patrick was the World Champion before Kelly entered the scene, and regained the crown at this year’s World Championships in Kelly’s absence. She also won the Rio Test Event last year, which Kelly missed, meaning Patrick has an upper hand on knowledge of the course.

Behind Patrick, Reid, Rodriguez and Joleen Hakker B1 (NED) often trade off podium performances, meaning all of the women can factor on September 11. It was Patrick and Reid that garnered medals at the Rio Test Event last summer, along with the USA’s Patricia Walsh.