The 11 athletes and two guides, who will make up the first-ever GB Paralympic paratriathlon squad, was announced this morning by the British Paralympic Association. Great Britain has qualified the highest number of slots of any country in this sport, meaning it will be the best represented when the athletes take to the water and streets around Copacabana over the weekend of 10 September.
In what will be her third Paralympics representing GBR, Lauren Steadman commented: “I feel honoured to be flying the British colours! Paratriathlon makes its debut at the Rio Paralympics and I’m excited to experience the games in a new sport alongside my teammates. We are a strong team and it will be great to get out there and bring home that medal that I’ve trained so relentlessly for!”
PT2 hopeful Andy Lewis said:
“I’m absolutely honoured to represent ParalympicsGB in Rio. I’ve only been doing triathlon for two years and started quite late, but I’ve put absolutely everything into it and given it my all and the hard work has paid off now I’ve been selected.
“To be there and be part of history as triathlon makes its debut at the Games is just amazing. The sport is growing and growing and hopefully Rio will help encourage more people to get involved in triathlon.”
Penny Briscoe, chef de mission for ParalympicsGB, said:
“Paratriathlon is a new sport for Rio 2016 and I think it will be thoroughly embraced by the crowds out in Rio: with such an iconic location at Copacabana and a combination of water sport and outdoor competition, I think this is going to be a fan favourite with the Brazilians!”
Jonathon Riall, team leader and head coach for paratriathlon, said:
“The last few years have been a race to qualify slots and to ensure that we are ready to take on anything that the rest of the world throws at us in competition. Standards are rising quickly in this sport because it is so new.
“I believe we have selected the best possible British team, which has the potential to win medals and make it’s mark as paratriathlon debuts at the Paralympic Games. I am looking forward to seeing them take to the biggest stage in disability sport.”
For athlete profiles, an exclusive feature with PT4 gold hopeful Steadman plus Paralympic course information, check out the next issue of 220, on sale 19 July.