U.S. Elite Paratriathletes Set for ITU World Championships in Gold Coast

By USA Triathlon | Sept. 10, 2018, 11:20 a.m. (ET)

Seventeen elite paratriathletes — including five returning medalists and a defending world champion — will represent the U.S. on Saturday, Sept. 15, at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Gold Coast, Australia. 

The first wave of paratriathletes starts Saturday at 6:45 a.m. local time (Friday at 4:45 p.m. ET), and the last wave goes off Saturday at 9 a.m. local time (Friday at 7 p.m. ET). A free finish-line livestream will be available at triathlonlive.tv/goldcoast, and fans can also follow the action live on Twitter at @TriathlonLive

Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio) headlines the U.S. contingent, as she goes for her third consecutive world title. The 2016 Paralympic gold medalist has had a strong season to date, winning the ITU World Paratriathlon Series (WPS) stop in Edmonton, Canada, and taking silver at the stop in Yokohama, Japan. She will have tough competition in the women’s PTS5 division from Great Britain’s Lauren Steadman, who won in Yokohama and was second to Norman by just four seconds at Worlds last year.

Leading the start list for the men’s PTS5 division is Chris Hammer (Salt Lake City, Utah). Hammer took bronze last year at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He competed in two WPS events this season, earning bronze in Yokohama and placing fourth in Iseo, Italy. 

The women’s PTS2 division will see two returning world medalists in Allysa Seely (Glendale, Ariz.), who took silver in 2017, and Hailey Danz (Wauwatosa, Wis.), who took bronze. The two were part of a historic U.S. podium sweep in paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, winning gold and silver, respectively, as teammate Melissa Stockwell (Chicago, Ill.) took bronze. 

Seely has had a dominant 2018 season, going undefeated in all three WPS stops in Yokohama, Iseo and Edmonton. Danz reached the podium in all three of those races, winning two silvers and a bronze. 

Stockwell will also compete in Gold Coast. Her resume this season includes a win at the Eton Dorney ITU Paratriathlon World Cup, a USA Paratriathlon national title and two fourth-place finishes in WPS events in Edmonton and Iseo.

Mark Barr (Houston, Texas) leads the men’s PTS2 start list. After winning silver at Worlds in 2017, Barr went on to have an undefeated 2018 season on the WPS circuit. Joining him in the PTS2 division are Allan Armstrong (Colorado Springs, Colo.), the 2017 and 2018 USA Paratriathlon national champion, and Mohamed Lahna (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who took bronze in the Iseo WPS stop this year.

The men’s PTVI division also features a returning world medalist in Aaron Scheidies (Seattle, Wash.). A seven-time ITU paratriathlon world champion, Scheidies claimed silver last year in Rotterdam. He is second on the start list for Gold Coast, with only defending world champion Dave Ellis of Great Britain ranked higher. So far in 2018, Scheidies has earned silver at WPS Edmonton and gold at the Sarasota-Bradenton CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships.

In the women’s PTVI division, Amy Dixon (Encinitas, Calif.) and Elizabeth Baker (Signal Mountain, Tenn.) will both be in the mix for podium spots. Baker and Dixon each have two medals on the WPS circuit this year, Baker having earned two silvers and Dixon two bronzes.

Kelly Elmlinger (San Antonio, Texas) will make her international paratriathlon debut, representing the U.S. in the women’s PTS4 division. Elmlinger had a breakthrough race at the USA Paratriathlon National Championships in June, winning the PTS4 title by more than 10 minutes in only her second paratriathlon since becoming an amputee.

Racing in the men’s PTS4 division are Joel Rosinbum (Austin, Texas) and Omar Bermejo (Casper, Wy.). Rosinbum won his first national title since 2011 earlier this year, in addition to taking bronze at the Sarasota-Bradenton CAMTRI and earning two top-10 WPS finishes. Bermejo also placed top-10 in two WPS events this season.

Ahalya Lettenberger (Glen Ellyn, Ill.) and Mary Kate Callahan (Chicago, Ill.) will compete in the women’s PTWC division. Lettenberger narrowly missed the podium at Worlds last year, placing fourth. She started the 2018 season strong with a CAMTRI gold medal in Sarasota-Bradenton, and followed that with a bronze at WPS Yokohama and a silver at USA Paratriathlon Nationals. Callahan, who was sixth at Worlds last year, was the runner-up at Sarasota-Bradenton in her only international start this season.

Representing the U.S. in the men’s PTWC division is Howie Sanborn (Colorado Springs, Colo.). On Sanborn’s resume for 2018 is a bronze in Sarasota-Bradenton, another bronze at the Magog ITU Paratriathlon World Cup and an eighth-place finish at WPS Edmonton.

For all paratriathlon start lists, visit triathlon.org. Click here for explanations of all paratriathlon sport classifications.

The ITU Paratriathlon World Championships are part of the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final taking place in Gold Coast from Sept. 12-16. The Grand Final marks the culmination of the ITU World Triathlon Series by crowning the men’s and women’s elite world champions, while also featuring world championship events for elite paratriathletes, U23s, juniors and age-group athletes. Visit usatriathlon.org for coverage of all races.

Complete event schedules, course maps and information about the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final is available at goldcoast.triathlon.org.