Stefan Daniel leads medal hopes for strong Canadian Para triathlon team

Canadian Paralympic Committee

August 16, 2021

With four world titles, Daniel aims high in Tokyo


There is one title that eludes Stefan Daniel in Para triathlon – Paralympic champion. His next opportunity is in less than two weeks: August 29, 2021.

The 24-year-old Calgarian leads a trio of Canadian Para triathlon entries at the Games in Tokyo. The sport made its official Games debut in Rio five years ago and Daniel took the silver medal behind arch-rival Martin Schulz of Germany.

Daniel, born with bilateral radial club hands with his right arm significantly more affected, won his first of four world titles in 2015 over Schulz which set up a thrilling showdown at the sport’s Paralympic debut the following year. 

Schulz prevailed in Rio, but the Canadian went on to win the next three world championships titles to put him in strong position for redemption in the PTS5 class at Tokyo 2020. 

Schulz is still ranked number one internationally ahead of Daniel in second followed by Chris Hammer of the U.S.

While training through a pandemic has posed its challenges, Daniel showed up in top form in June when he won gold at a World Cup in Spain, his first race in two years. 

“Everyone has their own challenges leading up to it, but I think whoever manages it the best, or even close, has a good chance to do well,’’ he told about his Games chances.

World number six Kamylle Frenette, from Dieppe, N.B. and born with a club foot, will make her Games debut in the women’s PTS5 competition and hopes to improve on her fourth-place finishes at the 2018 and 2019 world championships. 

“If someone had told me four years ago that I’d be toeing the line at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, I would never have believed them,” Frenette said when she was officially selected to the team. ‘“These past four years have been an incredible time of growth for me, both on the athletic and personal level.” 

The 25-year-old pharmaceutical student’s top rivals include Lauren Steadman of Great Britain, a former swimmer headed to her fourth Paralympics who will be looking to upgrade the silver medal she won from the 2016 Paralympics. Steadman is a double world and six-time European champ. 

Frenette’s race is also August 29.

Canada’s third entry is visually impaired athlete Jessica Tuomela, also a former swimmer, with her guide Marianne Hogan, ranked second in the world. Tuomela represented Canada at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Paralympics in the pool. She joined forces with Hogan in 2019 and together they won bronze at the world championships that year.

Standing in their way is two-time world champion and world number one Susana Rodrigues Gacio of Spain, a frontline worker in 2020 at the height of COVID -19 as a hospital rehabilitation specialist. Their race is on August 28.

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