Lauren Parker heads into the 2019 International Triathlon Union Para-triathlon World Cup in Devonport, TAS, on Saturday (2 March) with a huge boost of confidence, after taking top honours at the 2019 Oceania Triathlon Union Para-triathlon Oceania Championships in Newcastle, NSW, last weekend.
“I’m definitely still on a high,” said Parker, who is aiming to win gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. “To get the win in the first race of the season, at home, was very special.
“I’ve pulled up pretty well after the race. After an easy recovery day, I was back into training at the track as normal.
“With the Devonport World Cup race coming up on Saturday, I guess it’s a bit of a challenge lining up for two races in the same week, but I can’t wait to get stuck in and hopefully keep the momentum going.
“Devonport last year was my first full Para-triathlon event. I feel that race played an important part in the journey to where I am now with my racing, and where I’m hoping to get to. I’m looking forward to giving it another crack this year and hopefully just keep improving every time I race.”
The World Cup will also feature Paralympic golden girl Katie Kelly (PTVI) and her 2016 teammates Kate Doughty (PTS5) and Nic Beveridge (PTWC), as well as two-time world champion and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Emily Tapp (PTWC), and dual world champion Sally Pilbeam (PTS4).
Returning to racing after the birth of her son, Henrik, in July last year, Doughty will be aiming for another good performance after last week’s gold in the women’s PTS5. She will be joined by Australian newcomer Molly Wallace and Petra Lévay from Hungary.
The men’s PTS4 will be hotly contested, with Australians Clint Pickin, Liam Twomey and Dean McHardie facing an impressive international field, while PTVI athletes Jonathan Goerlach and Gerrard Gosens will be tested by Arnaud Grandjean (FRA), Daniel Knegt (NED) and Kin Wa Chu (HKG).
Also coming off a win, Joshua Kassulke (PTS5) will be aiming to repeat his performance in Devonport, as David Bryant prepares to make his debut against some strong international competition from Péter Boronkay (HUN), Antoine Besse (FRA) and Ernestas Cesonis (LTU)
“It’s great to have high-level back-to-back Para-triathlon racing opportunities in our country,” said Triathlon Australia’s National Performance Director, Justin Drew. “I know our athletes enjoyed kicking off the season in Newcastle and are looking forward to having another opportunity come this weekend in Devonport.
“We have all our key Tokyo Paralympic contenders racing, as they refine their strategy into their season and the Paralympic qualification period.”
By Triathlon Australia
Photo with thanks to Delly Carr