Silver medalist Hailey Danz celebrates during the women's PTS2 Triathlon medal ceremony at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 on Aug. 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Just a couple months after winning the most paratriathlon medals at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, Team USA again made five trips to the medal stand, this time at the world championships in Abu Dhabi.
U.S. paratriathletes brought home three gold medals, with Tokyo medalist Hailey Danz winning her second world title, and Paralympian Kelly Elmlinger and three-time Paralympian Chris Hammer winning their first. Tokyo silver medalist Grace Norman won that same medal in Abu Dhabi, while Paralympian Kyle Coon took bronze. Danz and Norman, among the most decorated triathletes in the field, now have seven world medals each.
The first medal on the day for Team USA at the Yas Marina course, which includes part of the Formula 1 racing track, was Coon’s in men’s PTVI.
Coon placed third in a time of 1:01:19, less than three minutes off the pace of first-place Dave Ellis of Great Britain. It’s the first career world championship medal for the 29-year-old from Colorado Springs, Colorado.
The first gold of the day was Hammer’s in men’s PTS5. The 35-year-old from Elkins, West Virginia, had previously won bronze medals at three world championships. He brought home the gold this time in 58:34, two seconds ahead of second-place Aleksandr Konyshev of the Russian Triathlon Federation.
In women’s PTS5, Grace Norman earned silver in a time of 1:05:54. The two-time Paralympian now has two medals of each color at the world championships. Norman, 23, previously won Paralympic gold in Rio.
Elmlinger continued her remarkable season with her win in women’s PTS4. The 42-year-old won by nearly three minutes to keep up her undefeated year. Elmlinger is undefeated in the Para Series following her wins in Leeds and Yokohama. Her previous best finish at worlds was a silver medal in 2019.
Closing out the haul for Team USA was Danz, who nabbed the third gold medal in women’s PTS2. The two-time Paralympic silver medalist finished in 1:17:21 over Fran Brown of Great Britain. Danz, 30, won her second world title to go with three silver and two bronze medals.
Other Paralympians competing for Team USA in Abu Dhabi were Eric McElvenny, who finished sixth in men’s PTS4, and Elizabeth Baker and Amy Dixon, who finished fifth and 10th, respectively, in women’s PTVI.