GOLD COAST, Australia - Stefan Daniel is on a mission to successfully defend his world title at the 2018 ITU World Triathlon Series Grand Final in Gold Coast, Australia, this Saturday.
The 2016 Paralympic Games silver medallist knows it won’t be easy.
“Training has gone really well, and I’m excited to try and go for another world title,’’ said the 21-year-old from Calgary whose disability is bilateral radial club hands. ‘’There’s a lot of guys who have the potential to win, so I’m excited for the challenge.’’
The Paralympic Games silver medallist is determined to add to his career total of two gold, one silver and one bronze medal at the premiere international event in a non-Paralympic year.
Daniel is ranked third in the PS5 classification world standings behind leader Chris Hammer of the U.S. in first and George Peasgood of Britain in second. In 2018, the Canadian star posted a World Series win in Edmonton last month and second place this past June in Italy.
‘’Overall, it’s been a year of ups and downs,’’ said Daniel, who also competes in able-bodied races. ‘’But I’ve been able to gain some momentum for the past little while. I’m confident in my fitness and I know I’ve done everything I can to be ready. I know that if I leave everything out on the course, I’ll be satisfied.”
Based on results this year, Canada has more medal contenders.
Former national team Para swimmer Jessica Tuomela (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) and her guide Lauren Babineau (Victoria) will look to put a golden stamp on their first season together. The Canadian duo are coming off their first World Para triathlon Series victory in Edmonton in the women’s visually impaired category.
Jon Dunkerley (Ottawa) and his guide James Cook (Victoria) will be making their first elite appearance at the World Championships along with national team rookie, Kamylle Frenette (Dieppe, N.B.) Dunkerley and Cook swam, cycled and ran to their first international podium in Edmonton when they claimed the bronze.
Frenette has finished second in all three of her races this year including a World Cup in France and the World Para triathlon Series in Edmonton.
The Para races are on September 15.
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