Triathlon Ireland will be sending their first team of Paratriathletes to an ITU World Championships Grand Final next month. London will showcase the first Paratriathlon World Championship of the new Olympic cycle that will culminate in Paratriathlon making its debut at Rio 2016. The Paratriathlon will take place on Friday 13 September at 2pm as part of five days of free-to-view sport in the Olympic triathlon venue of Hyde Park.
Paratriathlon offers a unique and inclusive global opportunity for athletes with physical and visual impairments to perform at elite levels in a modern, exciting and dynamic sport. There are currently six categories for athletes with physical and visual impairments to compete in.
This is a major development within Triathlon Ireland and given the announcement of its inclusion for the next Olympic Games in Rio, it is a very exciting and promising time for our paratriathletes in Ireland.
“There is a real opportunity for Irish paratriathletes to achieve great things at upcoming World Championships and the Rio Olympics so we’re looking forward to the first step in this process, the ITU World Championships in London.”
“We ran our second ever Paratriathlon National Championships in Athlone back in July which was a great success and saw 4 athletes qualify for the World Championships. We’re always on the lookout for more paratriathletes so plans are in place to hold a talent identification day alongside our next junior talent identification day on the 24th of November.” commented Triathlon Ireland CEO, Chris Kitchen.
The Irish team is made up of Nicolas Dewalque (Tri 6b), Michael Delaney (Tri 6a), Mark Phillips (Tri 4) and Denton Howard (Tri 4).
Michael Delaney took up triathlon 18 months ago but is the current Paratriathlon National Champion and has experience racing at the top level. Delaney, who races in the visually impaired category, has represented Ireland at the 2007 para-cycling World Championships and so will be unfazed by the hype surrounding London.
26 year old Nicolas Dewalque was 10th in the Paratriathlon World Championships last year but has shown steady progress since then. He will be hoping to better that result in September however faces stiff competition from the British squad in particular. Dewalque will be up against Iain Dawson who is the current Tri6b category World Champion along with European Champion David Ellis who will also be on the start line.