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  • Hyde Park Paratriathlon Provides key to Paralympic Inclusion

    23 Jul 2010

    This weekend’s Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship London, presented by Tata Steel, in Hyde Park will feature Europe’s largest elite paratriathlon race. Entries are up thirty percent on last year as the sport enters the final stretch of a long process to decide its Paralympic future.

    Paratriathlon is not currently included in the Paralympic Games, but has aspirations of inclusion in the programme for Rio 2016. The fast growing, dynamic and modern sport of triathlon was introduced to the Olympics just ten years ago. Paratriathlon now looks for International Paralympic Committee recognition to enjoy a similar boost to triathlon.

    Britain has one current paratriathlon World Champion, Clare Cunningham, who will compete on Saturday in Hyde Park. Four of our five European Champions, recently crowned in Athlone, Ireland, will also race.

    Cunningham already has Paralympic experience as a swimmer in 1992 and is desperately keen to see triathlon be included in Rio 2016. She said: "Being included in Rio 2016 will be absolutely massive for the sport. It would really see the sport move forward rapidly and help attract a high standard of athletes into the sport."

    For paratriathlon to be included, it will need to demonstrate that a minimum of 25 nations are competing in the sport from at least three different continents.

    British Triathlon’s president, Dr Sarah Springman, OBE is closely involved in driving forward paratriathlon’s bid for inclusion in her role as an International Triathlon Union Vice President.

    She said: "ITU submitted a large file containing our vision for paratriathlon as a paralmypic sport, supported by statistics and technical, governance and administrative documentation to substantiate our bid. We believe there are eight international federations bidding for a maximum of two slots. The compeition will be extremely tough! Should we be successful, we will hope that IPC will grant us our request for 75 places for men and 75 for women divided across six classification categories.

    "We are very hopeful that our charismatic paratriathletes, and the wonderful stages, such as Hyde Park, that we have established for them to demonstrate their inspirational performances will help convince decision makers in time for the IPC Congress in November.

    Through the investment of corporate partner, Corus, British Triathlon has established a successful paratriathlon performance programme.

    Paratriathlon Performance Manager, Jonathan Riall, said: "The GE Great Britain Team had a wonderful performance at the European Championships winning four gold, four silver and four bronze medals.

    We are excited about hosting Europe’s biggest elite triathlon this weekend in Hyde Park, and are hopeful of achieving more international success."

    The Paratriathlon race at the Dextro Energy Triathlon ITU World Championship London presented by Tata Steel takes place at 3.45pm on Saturday 24 July in London’s Hyde Park.

    Notes to editors:

    For more information contact Helen Gorman on 07739456644.

    About British Triathlon:

    British Triathlon is the current Sport Governing Body of the Year and the National Governing Body for Triathlon, Duathlon and Aquathlon in Great Britain responsible for leading growth and performance of the sport. Triathlon is a fast growing, dynamic and modern Olympic sport with talented world class athletes, coaches and support staff– focused around delivering world class events and performing on the big stages. At international level, Great Britain boasts six current world champions amongst a strong squad of world ranked elite triathletes who regularly achieve international success and has some outstanding young talent emerging from its youth programmes. There are over 700 triathlon events conducted in Great Britain each year including the renowned London Triathlon and British Triathlon Super Series, which attracts athletes from all over the world. British Triathlon aims to promote excellence in our sport, and create opportunities for everyone to achieve their personal triathlon challenges. Corus is the Corporate Partner of British Triathlon and is proud to be enabling the sport of triathlon. www.britishtriathlon.org

    British Triathlon is a beneficiary of the UK Sport Lottery funded World Class Programmes (WCP). The programmes focus on performance sport with the aim of achieving sporting excellence on the world stage. Further information can be found on the UK Sport website at www.uksport.gov.uk