Devonport will raise the curtain on the 2020 World Paratriathlon Series (WPS) tomorrow.
It comes after the Australian city delivered an International Triathlon Union (ITU) Paratriathlon World Cup event in 2018 and 2019.
As well as aiming for WPS success, participants will continue their campaigns for selection for this year’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
The coastal course, in the north of Tasmania, includes a 750 metre swim, beside the Mersey Bluff Lighthouse, before a six-lap cycle and two-lap run.
Brazil’s Carlos Rafael Viana, who triumphed at last year’s ITU Paratriathlon World Cup in Funchal in Madeira, and Paralympian Alisa Kolpakchy of Ukraine will be the favourites in the respective men’s and women’s PTS5 races.
Australia’s David Bryant and Russia’s Alexandr Ialchik will also be among the favourites in the men’s race.
In the visually impaired races, Paralympic champion Katie Kelly and Jonathan Goerlach, who claimed the bronze medal at the 2019 ITU Paratriathlon World Cup in Tokyo, are marked as home crowd favourites and will be in hot pursuit of a podium finish.
Both Kelly and Goerlach claimed gold medals at their home Paratriathlon Oceania Championships in Newcastle last month.
The Russian duo of Victor Chebotarev and Anna Plotnikova are in pole position in the PTS3 category, while Japan’s Hideki Uda, who earned the bronze medal at 2019 ITU Paratriathlon World Cup in Spanish city Banyoles and finished fourth at the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne, and Luxembourg’s Joe Kurt remain favourites in the competitive men's PTS4 classification.
Australia's Sally Pilbeam will be aiming to apply the pressure in the women’s PTS4 race.
The United States' Melissa Stockwell, who claimed three ITU Paratriathlon World Cup gold medals last year, and Frenchman Jules Ribstein, who had a brilliant run in 2019 that began with victory at the WPS in Milan and ended with him winning world and European titles, will be the ones to beat in the PTS2 women’s and men’s races, respectively.
The PTWC races will be headlined by the talent of world champion Lauren Parker and fellow home athlete Nic Beveridge, bronze medallist at the ITU Paratriathlon World Cup in Banyoles.
With the women's PTWC class set to make its Paralympic debut in Tokyo, Parker has her sights set on Para-triathlon’s biggest stage as she heads into this season.
Devonport will be hosting the first of three WPS events this year, with the two others taking place in Japanese city Yokohama and Montreal in Canada on May 16 and June 24, respectively.