ABU DHABI, UAE — Six U.S. elite paratriathletes earned medals on Thursday, Nov. 24 at the 2022 World Triathlon Para World Championships in Abu Dhabi to cap the 2022 paratriathlon season.
Hailey Danz and Grace Norman won gold on Thursday in their respective PTS2 and PTS5 sport classes, while fellow U.S. elite paratriathletes Kelly Elmlinger (San Antonio, Texas, PTS4), Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill., PTWC) and Melissa Stockwell (Colorado Springs, Colo., PTS2) took home silver. Chris Hammer earned the bronze in his PTS5 class.
With the win, Danz is now a back-to-back world champion and has eight World Championships medals in her career. On Thursday, she stuck with Stockwell on the 750-meter swim to come out of the water 3 seconds behind her U.S. teammate. A Tokyo 2020 Paralympic silver medalist, Danz built her lead on the 20-kilometer bike and cruised on the 5k run to complete the race on Yas Island in a time of 1 hour, 19 minutes, 8 seconds.
“It was a good day,” Danz said. “I worked well with Melissa (Stockwell) and we were able to break away and come out first (in the swim), but I knew my bike was my strength and I was able to get out of transition first and focus on making up the most ground possible. I went really hard on the bike and I’m recovering from a crash I had about six weeks ago so I definitely played it safe on some of the corners. By the run I knew where I was, so played a bit of a self-preservation game.”
A U.S. Army veteran and Tokyo 2020 Paralympian, Stockwell earned the silver, the seventh World Championships medal in her career. She finished in a time of 1:20:24.
In the women's PTS5 race, Norman turned in a dominant performance, winning in a time of 1:05:59, nearly 2 minutes ahead of Great Britain's Claire Cashmore, who had beaten Norman at the 2021 World Championships. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic silver medalist, Norman clocked the field's fastest bike and run splits — including an 18:50 5K — to earn her third world title, seventh career World Championships medal and cap an undefeated 2022 season.
“It was a blast out there, super hot but so fun,” Norman said. “Racing against Claire is always a battle and unpredictable and things are getting more and more competitive which is always fun.”
Elmlinger won silver in the women's PTS4, a classification that will make its Paralympic debut at the Paralympic Games Paris 2024. A U.S. Army veteran and Tokyo 2020 Paralympian, Elmlinger finished in 1:14:32.
Gretsch won silver in the women's PTWC race, nearly catching Australia's Lauren Parker. Gretsch — who beat Parker to win Paralympic gold in Tokyo last year — finished the race in a time of 1:09:08, 25 seconds back of Parker. For Gretsch, the silver is the fifth overall World Championships medal in her career. With the paratriathlon season over, Gretsch now switches her focus this winter to Nordic skiing as she is a five-time Paralympic medalist in cross-country skiing and biathlon.
Hammer earned the bronze on Thursday, running his way into podium contention with the field's second-fastest 5K of the day (16:26). This year, Hammer became the first paratriathlete to join USA Triathlon's elite development squad, Project Podium, based in Tempe, Arizona. The bronze on Thursday is Hammer's fifth World Championships medal in his career.
"I'm happy with it. I'm working hard. My family made a lot of sacrifices to move across the country for me to train with Project Podium. I'm doing everything I can to keep up with the young guys out here. I hope I can hold on for a few more years," Hammer said.
Nineteen elite paratriathletes competed at Thursday's World Championships. For the full Paratriathlon results, click here. Watch the full race replay on Triathlonlive.tv.
2022 World Triathlon Para Championships Finals Abu Dhabi
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
1. Grace Norman (Jamestown, Ohio) 1:05:59
2. Claire Cashmore (GBR) 1:07:21
3. Kamylle Frenette (CAN) 1:08:52
1. Stefan Daniel (CAN) 58:24
2. Martin Schulz (GER) 59:13
3. Chris Hammer (Troy, Mich.) 1:00:50
1. Andrea Miguelez Ranz (ESP) 1:12:52
2. Kelly Elmlinger (San Antonio, Texas) 1:14:32
3. Marta Frances Gomez (ESP) 1:15:45
5. Kendra Herber (Monroe, Ohio) 1:20:04
8. Emma Meyers (Pensacola, Fla.) 1:31:13
1. Alexis Hanquinquant (FRA) 1:00:45
2. Pierre-Antoine (FRA) 1:02:32
3. Jeremy Peacock (AUS) 1:03:58
5. Carson Clough (Charlotte, N.C.) 1:05:39
6. Erik Hultquist (Scottsdale, Ariz.) 1:06:05
10. Eric McElvenny (Pittsburgh, Pa.) 1:08:56
1. Elise Marc (FRA) 1:20:13
2. Sanne Koopman (NED) 1:32:16
3. No finishers
1. Daniel Molina (ESP) 1:10:35
2. Nico Van Der Burgt (NED) 1:10:53
3. Max Gelhaar (GER) 1:13:10
8. Chris Marston (Mechanicsville, Va.) 1:20:00
1. Hailey Danz (Wauwatosa, Wis.) 1:19:08
2. Melissa Stockwell (Colorado Springs, Colo.) 1:20:24
3. Anu Francis (AUS) 1:21:17
1. Jules Ribstein (FRA) 1:08:02
2. Lionel Morales (ESP) 1:09:21
3. Wim De Paepe (BEL) 1:09:53
4. Mohamed Lahna (Elk Grove, Calif.) 1:10:51
6. Adam Popp (Golden, Colo.) 1:16:02
1. Lauren Parker (AUS) 1:08:43
2. Kendall Gretsch (Downers Grove, Ill.) 1:09:08
3. Jessica Ferreira (BRA) 1:11:12
1. Jetze Plat (NED) 57:56
2. Florian Brungraber (AUT) 1:00:14
3. Geert Schipper (NED) 1:00:47
8. Zachary Stinson (Chambersburg, Pa.) 1:07:42
9. Howie Sanborn (Denver, Colo.) 1:09:23
1. Susana Rodriguez (ESP) 1:08:11
2. Francesca Tarantello (ITA) 1:08:43
3. Alison Peasgood (GBR) 1:10:59
8. Deb Chucoski (Corning, N.Y.) with guide Ericka Hachmeister (Corning, N.Y.) 1:18:09
1. Dave Ellis (GBR), 59:13
2. Thibaut Rigaueau (FRA) 1:00:17
3. Antoine Perel (FRA) 1:01:17
5. Kyle Coon (Colorado Springs, Colo.) with guide Zack Goodman (Salisbury, Md.) 1:02:08
8. Owen Cravens (Algonquin, Ill.) with guide Colin Riley (Cincinnati, Ohio) 1:03:21