Paralympic champion Katie Kelly and her sighted guide, two-time World Triathlon Champion and Olympic silver medallist Michellie Jones, are preparing to contest their second world championships after taking the title together in Chicago in 2015.
Joining Para-triathlon teammates Nic Beveridge, Sally Pilbeam, Justin Godfrey and Emily Tapp at a training camp in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, Kelly and Jones are putting the finishing touches to their taper as they count down to the three-day ITU Grand Final in Rotterdam, the Netherlands starting Friday, September 15.
The Para-triathlon World Championships will unfold on Friday, beginning with the Junior Women and U23 Men, before the Junior Men, U23 Women, Elite Men and Elite Women tackle the tight, technical, cobblestoned course on ‘Super Saturday’.
These championships follow a troublesome 12 months for Kelly, whose competition schedule has been curtailed by a nagging calf injury. She re-united with Jones in July to win the Edmonton leg of the World Para-triathlon Series.
“For me personally, I actually raced quite a lot before meeting up with Katie in Edmonton in July and then from Edmonton till now my focus has been very specific to Rotterdam,” Jones said.
“I’ve concentrated on the technical aspects of the course, especially the bike with lots of corners and cobbles to navigate.
“But people often ask me how you put the finishing touches to your preparation.
“And the best advice I can give anyone is to stick to your routine and think of it as just another race to do the best you can on the day.”
After winning gold in Edmonton, Kelly returned to the Gold Coast with High Performance Coach Dan Atkins for another block of training at home.
“In the last week I’ve joined Michellie and some of my fellow Para-triathletes, and it’s been an absolute privilege to be based here at Victoria with Jamie Turner’s squad [the Australian able-bodied team],” Kelly said.
“Our training has been great here in Spain. Coach Jamie Turner has a great set-up and all the Para-triathletes have found the facilities to be great,” Jones continued.
“It is so nice to ride on roads that have courteous drivers and trails right out our front door.
“Para-tri coach Dan Atkins put us through a great race day stimulation over the weekend and has given both Katie and I a lot of confidence, and we are headed to race day in the best shape possible for a world championship bid,” she said.
By Triathlon Australia