By David Peddie on 16/06/13 at 1:50 pm
Multi-National success in Paratriathlon at European Championships
The 2013 European Championships in Alanya reached a stunning climax with the Paratriathlon competition which provided plenty of multi-national winners and some stunning debut performances.
There were a number of firsts across the classifications as six different National Federations shared the medals.
The competition started with the TRI-1 category where Francesc Solo Garcia (ESP) was bidding for a fourth consecutive European title. But Phil Hogg (GBR), in his first ever triathlon event, raised the bar with an amazing performance.
“It’s emotional, I can only thank my coaches and my family and I can’t thank them enough for getting me here,” said Hogg (pictured below). “I was thinking on the third or fourth bike lap that I had a chance but I knew I had to keep on the gas and keep racing.
“Fran’s a really good guy, very helpful and very supportive but I’m happy to take his title.”
Garcia had to settle for a silver medal this year and Joe Townsend (GBR) completed the podium. In the women’s category, Jane Egan (GBR) powered her way to her fourth title in a row.
She said: “I’m really pleased it’s nice to keep the title, I think I’ve had it since 2010. For the first time ever I think I had a really good swim and I enjoyed my swim.
“The long term goal is selection for 2016 but obviously we have to continue to perform and improve and be selected for the squad each season. Keep thinking about the next race and make these small gradual improvements.”
In TRI-2, Stefan Loesler (GER) became European Champion for the first time by beating Andrea Devicenzi (ITA). Giovanni Sasso completed the podium with another medal for Italy.
In TRI-3, Sarah Pearson (GBR) finished the course to become European Champion. In the Male category, Michele Ferrain (ITA) defended his title by once again finishing ahead of Steven Judge (GBR) for the second consecutive year. Artem Zakharov completed the podium for Russia.
Martin Schulz (GER) defended his title in the TRI-4 category. The German athlete finished ahead of Yannick Bourseaux (FRA) and Jairo Ruiz Lopez (ESP).
“This year was much harder for me because I have been injured,” said Schulz. “I had some problems on my bike but when I was running I couldn’t see anyone around and I thought I must be winning and I did.”
There was another breakthrough winner in the female category where Lauren Steadman (GBR) pipped Claire Cunningham (GBR) to gold. Alena Kaufman (RUS) brought hoem another medal for Russia with her third place finish.
Steadman said: “I definitely had to work hard for this. The swim is my strength and I had a good, smooth transition. On the bike I just wanted to keep distance between myself and everyone else.
“On the run I had jelly legs but I gave it my all.”
Yulia Chernoy (ISR) became European Champion again. Last year In Eilat she won gold in the TRI-3 category and this year she was competed in the TRI-5 classification. Stephane Leroy (FRA) was another European Championship debutant to win gold, as he followed up victory at Bescançon with victory in the Male TRI-5 category.
Leroy, who is more familiar with Long Distance events, said: “I am very happy I can’t quite believe it. The course was excellent. It was difficult but that’s ok and it was worth it.”
Italian duo Andrea Bozzato and Alessandro Colombo completed the podium with silver and bronze respectively.
Two time World Duathlon Champion Ralf Arnold (GER) won his maiden European Championship title with victory in the TRI-6a category. Oren Blitzbau secured a superb second Paratriathlon medal for Israel as he finished in second place and Haseeb Ahmad (GBR) completed the podium.
David Ellis (GBR) denied Iain Dawson a third European Championship title with victory in the TRI-6b category, his maiden title. Dawson, the 2010 and 2012 winner, had to settle for silver in 2013. Maurizio Romeo (ITA) won his first ever Paratriathlon medal with bronze.
In the female TRI-6b category, Melissa Reid (GBR) avenged last year’s European Championship defeat to Charlotte Ellis (GBR) by coming out on top here in Alanya. Ellis took silver and Susana Rodriguez (ESP) finished in third place for the bronze medal.
Find more details about this event - 2013 Alanya ETU Triathlon European Championships