PONTEVEDRA, Esp.—Canada’s Stefan Daniel bolted to his eighth straight podium at the World Triathlon Para Championships, taking the silver in Pontevedra, Spain on Saturday.
After rattling off five straight victories, the two-time Paralympic medallist added a second World Championship silver medal to his impressive resume that also includes one bronze after an epic battle with his long time rival – two-time Paralympic champion, Martin Schulz of Germany – in the men’s PTS5 classification.
The soft-spoken Calgarian clocked a time of 56:45 in the sprint distance race that mixed together a 750-metre swim with a 20-kilometre ride through the Galician city in north west Spain before a five-kilometre run to the podium.
“The race went as good as I could have expected today. Obviously, initially I was disappointed not to win, but I know I’m going in the right direction for next year,” said Daniel.
Portugal’s Filipe Marques led the deepest Para-triathlon field out of the water, but was forced to serve a penalty for drafting, opening the door for a two-man match between the 26-year-old Daniel and Schulz who were one second apart.
The German wasted no time getting to the front in the first of four laps on the bike. Daniel maintained pace with Hungary’s Bence Mocsari and Chris Hammer of the United States 40 seconds back.
“I came out of the water on the feet of the leader which was the goal in the swim,” added Daniel. “I road qute well and went back and forth with Martin a bit.”
Schulz exited second transition seconds ahead of Daniel – a University of Calgary business student – setting up a foot race for the World Championship crown.
Schulz threw down the fastest run time of the day at 15:40 to secure the victory with a time of 56:18. It was his fourth World Championship title of his career, and first since 2016. Daniel was not in the 2016 field, electing to take a break following the sport’s debut at the Paralympic Games in Brazil where he also finished second.
“In the run, I did what I could with what I had today and fought to the end. The run is starting to come back and I ran way better than I did in Paris which I’m quite happy about,” said Daniel. “Martin had a great race and was well deserving of the World Championship.”
Chris Hammer, of the United States, locked up the bronze for the second-straight year with a time of 56:45.
“That was a really good effort for Stef,” said coach, Carolyn Murray. “He had an excellent swim, a strong bike and progress was made on the run. We have time to build on this performance for Paris next year.”
Canada’s Kamylle Frenette finished just shy in her quest to claim a second-straight World Championship podium in the women’s PTSV classification.
The 27-year-old pharmacy graduate, who snagged a bronze at last year’s premiere event in a non- Paralympic year, snared her third, fourth-place World Championship finish on Saturday in Spain.
Frenette, of Dieppe, N.B., completed the picturesque course that featured a long climb, numerous speed bumps and a narrow run course in a time of 1:07:16.
Grace Norman, of the United States, won her sixth career World Championship title with a time of 1:03:28. Claire Cashmore, of Great Britain, claimed the silver at 1:04:39. Fellow Brit, Lauren Steadman, topped Frenette for the bronze with a time of 1:05:45.
Winnipeg’s Leanne Taylor clocked a second-straight top-five finish at the World Championships in the women’s wheelchair classification.
The positive Winnipegger, who was left paralyzed from the waist down following a mountain bike accident five years ago, enjoyed one of the strongest performances in her young triathlon career.
The 31-year-old grabbed the final spot in the top-five after stopping the clock at 1:16:40.
Australia’s Lauren Parker successfully defended her title, winning the race category with a time of 1:10:38. Kendall Gretsch, of the United States, was second at 1:11:119 while Brazil’s Jessica Ferreira rounded out the women’s wheelchair podium with a time of 1:13:48.
The World Championships continue on Sunday in Spain.