SWANSEA, Wales.—Stefan Daniel cranked out his third consecutive victory on the World Triathlon Para Series on Saturday in Swansea, Wales.
The 25-year-old Calgarians triumph in the men’s standing classification capped off a double-medal day for the Canucks. Jessica Tuomela (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) and her guide Emma Skaug (Victoria) backed up their historic bronze-medal finish at the Commonwealth Games last week with another third-place result in the women’s visually impaired category.
Daniel dusted the field in the men’s PTS5 category, clocking a golden time of 56:55.
“I’m really proud of my effort on what was not an easy course,” said Daniel.
The two-time Paralympic medallist took advantage of a strong single-lap 750-metre swim course before completing four technical laps on the around the city centre on the bike.
“I had a really solid swim that set me up for the rest of the race,” said Daniel. “I just focused on staying calm and minimizing the gap to the leaders as best I could.”
Daniel cranked up the pace when foot hit pavement, reeling in the frontrunners before pulling away from the field and darting his way to the finishing tape.
“The run felt relatively good after such a hard bike so I’m super happy that my run fitness is slowly coming back,” added Daniel.
George Peasgood, of Great Britain, was the next best finisher at 58:13. Portugal’s Filippe Marques clocked-in at 58:52 for the bronze medal in the 17-man field.
Jessica Tuomela and Emma Skaug were all smiles following another bronze-medal battle in Wales.
The Canadian duo were relentless throughout all three disciplines, posting a time of 1:12:09 in a sprint finish.
“Every aspect of the course had its challenges. There was a current in the swim and the bike was one of the most challenging courses we have ever ridden,” said Tuomela, who turned 39 on Wednesday. “The sprint finish was awesome. I’ve never had one of those. The crowd was so loud I couldn’t hear Emma. I knew we were sprinting to the finish but I had no idea where Katie (Crowhurst) was.”
Tuomela, a Paralympic swimming silver medallist, and the 22-year-old Skaug were edged out in the fight to the finish by recently crowned Commonwealth Games champions, Katie Crowhurst and her guide Jessica Fullagar. The two athletes from Great Britain topped the Canucks for the silver medal with a time of 1:12:06.
Annouck Curzilla, of France, set the time to beat at 1:11:01.
Winnipeg’s Leanne Taylor came up short in her quest for a third-straight podium on the elite paratriathlon circuit in one of her toughest tests yet. The 29-year-old, who was left paralyzed from the waist down following a mountain bike accident four years ago, placed fifth at 1:13:42 in the deep women’s wheelchair classification.
“This was my first opportunity this year to race against the top women in my class,” said Taylor. “To come fifth in such a competitive field is an accomplishment that I’m happy with. Of course, there is still more work to be done, but this result was the encouragement that I needed to keep pushing.”
Australia’s Lauren Parker won the race category with a time of 1:06:38.
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