By James Crook

paratriathlon 1760503bApril 21 - American athletes rose to the occasion on home soil at the Challenged Athletes Foundation World Para-triathlon San Diego, taking multiple gold medals across various classifications.

United States race winners included Tisa Cawthon in the women's TRI-4 and Chris Hammer in the men's TRI-4, as well as Beth Hope and David Kyle in the men's and women's TRI-3 respectively.

In the men's TRI-6b, American Aaron Scheidies came first with a time of 1 hour 4min just days after completing the Boston Marathon, and another American, Mark Barr, took gold with a time of 1:20:11 in the men's TRI-2, beating Morocco's Mohamed Lahna and his compatriot Matt Perkins.

Barr spoke of the impact that the Challenged Athletes Foundation has had on the sport - which is preparing to make its Paralympic debut at Rio 2016 - following his victory.

"If it weren't for Challenged Athletes Foundation, Para-triathlon wouldn't be where it's at today," he said.

"They're really pushing Para-triathlon to the next level, so it's a huge honour to be on the elite team and I hope to represent them well."

The Challenged Athletes Foundation was founded in 1997 when Para-triathlete Jim McClaren - who was inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame last week - was rendered quadriplegic after being hit by a van during the bike stage of a marathon in 1993, and a group formed to raise money to aid him.

After raising more than the amount they required to purchase him a hand-driven vehicle, the group decided to form the Challenged Athletes Foundation and support and encourage disabled people to get involved in sport.

Para-triathlon veteran Sarah Reinertsen finished third in the women's TRI-2 event, behind her American team-mates Melissa Stockwell and Jennifer Clark, who won gold and silver respectively.

"CAF was really born out of triathlon because of one man, one triathlete who was injured," said Reinertsen.

"This is such a great stage to show Californians, to show Americans, to show the world what Para-triathletes can do."

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