It’s been a golden day for Australia at the 2022 World Triathlon Para Series Montreal with Jeremy Peacock, Justin Godfrey and Lauren Parker all winning gold in a triumphant day for the Aussie Team.
Justin Godfrey just keeps on keeping on as he sets his sights on a place on the Paralympic team when his PTS3 classification makes its debut in Paris in 2024.
The Albury-Wodonga local from country NSW, has now notched up back-to-back wins in this years’ Series after winning in Yokohama in May.
Godfrey, who is back chasing his Paralympic dream after three shoulder operations, has now won 18 races from 27 starts – unbeaten in his last four starts after returning from a four-year-layoff in Devonport where he was second in February.
The 47-year-old Godfrey again proved that age is no barrier, taking the gold in 1 hour 12 mins 40 seconds from Cedric Denuziere (1:17.22) with the USA’s Christopher Marston (1:18.32) third.
And there were smiles all round also for 31-year-old Melbourne-based accountant Jeremy Peacock, who was born with cerebral palsy and took a week’s annual leave to chalk up his maiden World Triathlon Para Series win ahead of Finley Jakes (GBR), Eric McElvenny (USA) with fellow Australian Liam Twomey fourth.
Peacock won a tightly fought race in 1:05.34 with Jakes (1:06.45) snatching silver from McElvenny (1:06.47) and fellow Aussie Twomey (1:07.25) fifth.
Tokyo Paralympic silver medallist Lauren Parker scored an emphatic victory over Tokyo 2020 gold medallist, the USA’s Kendall Gretsch, leading from the gun and dominating throughout the race staged at the Canadian Formula 1 circuit at Parc Jean Drapeau.
Parker suffered an agonising defeat to Gretsch in Tokyo, the three-time Summer and Winter Paralympic gold medallist, snatching the dramatic win on the final wheel push to the line.
But there was no catching 33-year-old Parker today, with the champion from Newcastle producing one of the most impressive wins of her already celebrated career – winning by a margin of six minutes and 42 seconds in an overall time of 1:05.08, ahead of Gretsch (1:11.50) with Leanne Taylor (CAN) third in 1:12.40.
And the smile said it all for Parker on the presentation dais when she accepted her gold medal – chalking up the 12th win of a career that started back in St Kilda in 2018 and includes two world championships and 20 podium finishes from 33 starts.
Parker’s Tokyo team mate Emily Tapp made a welcome return to racing in Montreal, finishing fifth, after unfortunately crashing out of her Paralympic campaign in Japan.
Two-time Paralympian Nic Beveridge was fourth (1:04.07) to two-time Paralympic champion and Montreal winner, Dutchman Jetze Platz (56.25) in the PTWC classification.
Debutant Jack Howell (1:01.23) and Tokyo Paralympian David Bryant (1:01.56) were fourth and sixth respectively in the PTS5 class.
Birmingham-bound Jonathan Goerlach produced a solid lead-up race in his Commonwealth Games campaign to finish fourth in the PTVI class with guide David Mainwaring, while Australia’s two-time former world champion, WA’s Sally Pilbeam was fourth in her comeback race in the PTS4 class for women.
The Montreal Para Series was the second stop of the series this year, after Yokohama and before Swansea in August, with the para triathletes then ready for the World Championships that will take place in Abu Dhabi in November.