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With just over 100 days to go to the opening of the Paralympic Games and the hunt for crucial ranking points on, Australia’s Para-triathlon team delivered at the World Triathlon Para Series in Yokohama, clinching an impressive four medals. 

The results were led by the outstanding Lauren Parker, who won the PTWC classification to extend her golden run to 15 straight wins. 

Parker secured the gold medal a minute and 25 seconds ahead of Leanne Taylor (CAN) and Jessica Ferreira (BRA), with the latter two athletes requiring a photo finish to determine the silver medallist. Kendall Gretsch (USA), who was the last athlete to finish ahead of Parker at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, finished in fourth place. 

Parker, Australia’s top-ranked Para-triathlete, returned to competition in Yokohama after she won three gold medals at the Para-Cycling Road World Cup in Belgium the previous weekend. Parker is aiming to qualify and compete in two sports at the Paralympics. 

Anu Francis (PTS2) secured the silver medal, marking back-to-back World Triathlon Para Series podium finishes to start the season following her maiden victory in Devonport earlier in the year. 

Francis finished behind Hailey Danz (USA), who clinched the women’s title, while hometown hero Yukako Hata (JAP) rounded out the podium. 

Justin Godfrey (PTS3) bolstered his Paralympic aspirations by also securing a silver medal. 

He finished behind Michael Herter (FRA), who established a substantial lead during the swim, which ultimately proved insurmountable, with Hwang Tae Kim (KOR) finishing in third place. 

Thomas Goodman (PTS2) made a statement by clinching a maiden World Triathlon Para Series podium with a bronze medal, positioning himself as a contender for a spot on the Australian Paralympic Team. 

Goodman finished two minutes ahead of his Australian teammate Glen Jarvis (PTS2), who secured fourth place in the competition. 

In other results for the Australians, Sally Pilbeam (PTS4) took fourth place and Nic Beveridge (PTWC), Jeremy Peacock (PTS4) and Jack Howell (PTS5) each finished fifth in their respective classifications. David Bryant (PTS5) and Sam Harding (PTVI) rounded out the Australian performance, securing seventh and eighth place finishes respectively. 

The Paralympic qualification period draws to a close on July 1, leaving two more major opportunities to bolster rankings points, WTPS Swansea and WTPS Montreal. For most classifications the world’s top nine athletes in the rankings can clinch quota spots for their nations, with Australian athletes having the opportunity to secure automatic nominations by ranking within the top five. 

By AusTriathlon and Paralympics Australia.

Published 13 May, 2024.