COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Devonport, Australia, is set to host the ITU World Paratriathlon Series (WPS) opener this Saturday, as three U.S. elite paratriathletes will toe the line in search of medals and Paralympic qualifying points. Devonport is a first-time WPS host city, after having hosted races on the ITU Paratriathlon World Cup circuit for the past three years.
The Devonport race is the first of three stops on the 2020 WPS calendar, as the series heads to Yokohama, Japan, on May 16, and Montreal on June 24. In addition, the city of Milan will host the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships from May 2-3, marking the first time since 2016 that Paratriathlon Worlds will be held as a standalone event outside of the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final.
All three WPS events and the World Championships fall within the International Triathlon Union’s Paralympic qualification period, giving athletes valuable opportunities to earn points toward qualification for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
In Devonport, athletes will race a 750-meter ocean swim off the Tasmanian coast, followed by a 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run along the waterfront. All races will be streamed live on triathlonlive.tv, with coverage beginning Friday at 11 p.m. ET (3 p.m. Saturday local time). Monthly and annual subscriptions are available for purchase.
Amy Dixon (Encinitas, Calif.) and guide Kirsten Sass (McKenzie, Tenn.) will race in the women’s PTVI class. Dixon is a nine-time WPS medalist over the course of her six-year elite paratriathlon career. She narrowly missed the WPS podium in 2019 with a best finish of fifth in Montreal. Additional 2019 highlights include a national title, two bronze medals in ITU Paratriathlon World Cup events, and a fourth-place finish at the Tokyo ITU Paratriathlon World Cup.
Melissa Stockwell (Chicago, Ill.) will represent the U.S. in the women’s PTS2 category. The 2016 Paralympic bronze medalist is coming off a standout 2019 season, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the Toyota USA Paratriathlon National Championships and three gold medals on the ITU Paratriathlon World Cup circuit. She has not earned a medal at the WPS level since 2016 — but the podium is well within reach, as she placed fifth in her sole WPS start last year in Yokohama.
Eric McElvenny (Pittsburgh, Pa.) is set to make his WPS debut in the men’s PTS4 class. In his first race as an elite paratriathlete last year, McElvenny captured a gold medal at the Sarasota-Bradenton CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships. He followed that with a runner-up performance at the national championships, a sixth-place showing at the Banyoles ITU Paratriathlon World Cup in Spain, and a fourth-place finish at the Funchal ITU Paratriathlon World Cup in Portugal.
Complete paratriathlon start lists for WPS Devonport are available at triathlon.org.
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work at the grassroots level with athletes, coaches, and race directors — as well as the USA Triathlon Foundation — USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee (USOPC).