Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit will host a phenomenal day of racing tomorrow with both the Paratriathlon World Championships and World Triathlon race set to take place.
Here, we preview the World Paratriathlon Championships and explain everything you need to know ahead of the main event, including start times, how to watch it and who’s racing.
When and where is the 2021 World Paratriathlon Championships happening?
The 2021 World Paratriathlon Championships are taking place on Friday 5 November at the Yas Marina Formula 1 circuit in Abu Dhabi. Take a look at the race start times below (all times are local).
8am: Para World Champs race start: PTVI 1M
8:01am: Para World Champs race start: PTVI 1W
8:03am: Para World Champs race start: PTVI 2/3M
8:04am: Para World Champs race start: PTVI 2/3 W
8:30am: Para World Champs race start: PTWC1M
8:31am: Para World Champs race start: PTWC1W
8:33am: Para World Champs race start: PTWC2M
8:35am: Para World Champs race start: PTWC2W
9:30am: Para World Champs race start: PTS5-M
9:40am: Para World Champs race start: PTS4/3/2-M
9:55am: Para World Champs race start: PTS3/4-W
10am: Para World Champs race start: PTS2-W
10:45-11:30am: Paras: Medal ceremony
How can I watch the races?
You can watch all races live on TriathlonLIVE.tv
Who’s racing at the 2021 World Paratriathlon Championships?
Just two months after the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics crowned the world’s best, over 120 paratriathletes will compete this Friday in six medal events per gender, with 12 world titles up for grabs. Here’s who to watch out for:
Wearing number 1 in the men’s visually impaired class (PTVI) will be 2019 world champs silver medallist GB’s Dave Ellis, who will be keen to perform well following a heart-breaking DNF due to a mechanical at the Tokyo Paralympics in August. Reigning world champion Hector Catalá Laparra (ESP) will also be vying for gold having taken silver in Tokyo. And making their world champs’ debut will be GB’s Oscar Kelly, guided by Charlie Harding, Owen Cravens (USA) and Oliver Gunning (IRL).
On the women’s field, the clear favourite is the current Paralympic and two-time world champion Susana Rodriguez (ESP). Keeping her honest will be Rio silver medallist and Tokyo fourth-place finisher Alison Peasgood (GB), guided by Brooke Gillies. Also look out for another World Champs newbie in the GB camp, Katie Crowhurst guided by Grace France.
Only an uncharacteristic mistake or mechanical will likely prevent Dutch paratriathlon super star Jetze Plat from taking his sixth consecutive world title in the wheelchair class. The double Paralympic champion hasn’t lost a race since 2015. His main contenders include teammate Geert Schipper, looking to finish the season strong after a disappointing fourth place in Tokyo, Florian Brungraber (AUT), Giovanni Achenza (ITA) and Ahmed Andaloussi (FRA).
On the women’s side, it’s Lauren Parker (AUS) with the target on her back. She lost the sprint for gold in Tokyo to the USA’s Kendall Gretsch (not racing in Abu Dhabi) but looks stronger than ever. Spain’s Eva Maria Moral Pedraza will also be eyeing silver and gold having taken bronze in Tokyo.
Jules Ribstein (FRA) is the clear favourite to claim the title in the men’s PTS2 class, if he can replicate the winning form he showed in Alhandra just a week ago. But most eyes will be fixed on Mohammed Lahna (USA), who’s returning to the paratri world stage after a three-year hiatus.
On the women’s side, the race could come down to a two-way fight between the Tokyo silver and bronze medallists, Hailey Danz (USA) and Veronika Yoko Plebani (ITA). But let’s not rule out the reigning world champion and fourth-place Tokyo finisher Fran Brown (GBR), who’s hungry for that podium.
On the men’s side, Nico Van Der Burgt (NED) will be looking to de-throne multiple world champion Daniel Molina of Spain.
With only three women competing in the PTS3 class, the podium will be decided among Elise Marc (FRA), Andrea Miguelez Ranz (ESP) and Evgeniya Koroleva (RTF).
Alexis Hanquinquant (FRA) goes into the 2021 World Champs as the clear favourite as the reigning Paralympic champion and world champion. He’s also won every single race he’s started since 2019. Chasing him will be Hideki Uda (JPN), Michael Taylor (GBR) and Alejandro Sanchez Palomero (ESP).
Like the PTS3 category only three athletes will line up on Friday – Spain’s Marta Frances Gomez, Elke Van Engelen (GER) and Kelly Elmlinger (USA).
Two-time Paralympic champion Michael Schulz (GER) continues to demonstrate superb consistency having also taken the European title in Valencia three weeks ago. It’s really his race to lose.
For the women, reigning Tokyo champ Lauren Steadman is a DNS so expect a showdown between Tokyo silver and bronze medallists Grace Norman (USA) and GB’s Claire Cashmore. Cashmore also swept up the European title a few weeks ago and is keen to retain her world title from 2019 (the last time the Worlds were held).
“It’s definitely something I’ve thought about,’ said Cashmore pre-race. “You want to retain that title, you still want to be reigning world champion. It’ll be really good to stand up against the best in the world and see what’s there.”
Top image credit: Delly Carr/World Triathlon