By Duncan Mackay
British Sports Internet Writer of the Year
September 11 - Paratriathlon's bid to get into the 2016 Paralympics in Rio has received another boost after the biggest-ever event took place at the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship Budapest Grand Final today.
A total of 85 athletes representing 16 countries taking part in the event through the Hungarian capital and world champions were crowned in all six Paratriathlon categories as athletes battled through rainy and cold early morning conditions.
Athletes completed a sprint-distance triathlon, consisting of a 750 metres swim in the River Danube, a 20 kilometres bike along the banks of the River and a 5km run around some of Budapest's most iconic landmarks, including the Szechenyi Chain Bridge and Hungarian Parliament Building.
Britain finished the morning with four world champions.
They were dominant in the TRI 6 category - visual impairment - with Charlotte Ellis and Iain Dawson taking the world titles.
Ellis won the women's race in 1 hour 16min 35sec , while Dawson took the men's title in 1:05:15.
Dawson, a visually impaired physiotherapist from Norwich, completed the double, having won the World Duathlon title on Edinburgh’s challenging course last weekend.
However, he had to draft in a late replacement for his guide, who fell sick yesterday. Matt Ellis, who raced with Dawson last weekend, stepped in despite being entered for his own World Championship event tomorrow, the age group standard distance race.
Dawson (pictured) said: "Matt had to step in because my guide who was due to race with me today has been very ill this week unfortunately.
"It’s disappointing for him but fortunately Matt was here anyway and stepped in.
"Hopefully he can still do well tomorrow but this might have taken a bit out of him."
Dawson’s winning time was 1:05:15 and Chris Goodwin was less than two minutes behind for silver.
Britain also shone in the women's TRI 4 category - arm impairment - with Faye McClelland and Clare Cunningham finishing first and second, respectively.
McClelland crossed the line in an impressive time of 1:14:12, with teammate Cunningham 68 seconds behind.
In the TRI 1 category for handcycles Scotland's Jane Egan won gold.
Egna took up triathlon only this year and is already European, and now world Champion.
She won in 1:35:18, three minutes ahead of Carly Waugh of the USA.
The men's TRI 1 category, with a total of 14 competitors, went to Austria's Thomas Fruehwirth, who won a very tight race over Bill Chaffey of Australia by only six seconds.
The American team continued its great day in the TRI 2 category - severe leg impairment - winning both the men and women's categories.
Melissa Stockwell was victorious in the women's contest, taking the world title in 1:39:00, while teammate Matt Perkins took home the men's crown in 1:21:57.
Twelve men competed in the men's TRI 3 les autre category with Frenchman Cedric Delescluse taking top honours in 1:11:50.
American Craig Vogtsberger finished second in 1:15:00, with Sebastian Averesch of Germany rounding out the podium in 1:16:44.
Hungary's Peter Boronkay thrilled the home crowd in the men's TRI 4 race, taking the title for a second consecutive in 1:06:09.
He held off Austria's Oliver Dreier by 23 seconds.
The American team won its fourth title of the day in the women's TRI 5 category for athletes with moderate leg impairment as Megan Fisher took the race in 1:25:03.
In the men's contest, France's Yan Guanter won the title in 1:07:59, finishing just over one minute ahead of American JP Theberge.
The International Triathlon Union (ITU) formally submitted an application in July for the inclusion of Paratriathlon into the Paralympic programme, beginning with the 2016 Games in Rio.
The 120-page dossier was submitted by ITU with passionate letters of support by a group of experienced Paratriathletes.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will decide which sports will be added to the 2016 Paralympic Games in December of this year.
"Triathlon really does belong in the Paralympics," said Paratriathlon legend Sarah Reinertsen, the first female leg amputee to complete the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii, after the race.
"That's been a huge motivation for me.
"I'd love to see it happen and hopefully we will see it come 2016."
If the sport is chosen a maximum total of 150 Paratriathletes will be competing at Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]
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