Australian Lauren Parker has successfully returned to the Ironman Triathlon World Championships with a historic finish in the handbike division.
Most important points:
- Parker is the first Australian woman to finish in the handbike category
- The result was her first Ironman finish as a handbike competitor
- Parker won silver at the Tokyo Paralympic Games last year
The 33-year-old completed the 3.8km swim, 180km bike and 42.2km marathon run in St George, Utah in 14 hours and 47 seconds.
She is the first Australian woman to complete the Ironman World Championships in the handbike category.
Parker, who won silver at the Tokyo Paralympic Games last year and gold at the Paratriathlon World Championships, also set the fastest woman’s hand cycle time at the Ironman World Championships.
Australian John Maclean was the first triathlete to complete the 1995 Ironman World Championships as a handbike competitor.
“It was a really tough day out, one of the toughest I’ve ever had in my life,” Parker said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 World Championships had to be postponed and moved from their home in Kona, Hawaii, to St. George.
The 2022 Championships will return to Kona in October for the first time since 2019.
The result was Parker’s first Ironman finish as a handbike competitor. She now plans to return to Kona for the World Championships in October.
Parker’s performance was the Australian highlight in St. George as Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt and Switzerland’s Daniela Ryf claimed the elite titles.
Australia’s Renee Kiley placed 14th in the elite women’s race.
Professional cyclist Cameron Wurf finished in 18th place, three weeks after riding the Paris-Roubaix monument as a domestique in the Ineos Grenadiers team.