Seely makes history in Tokyo to become the first woman to win two Para triathlon golds

by Olalla Cernuda on 27 Aug, 2021 11:01 • Español
Seely makes history in Tokyo to become the first woman to win two Para triathlon golds

American para triathlete Alysa Seely (USA) has been dominating the PTS2 class for several years, and she proved that in Tokyo as well. In a hot and humid morning in Odaiba Bay, she wrote her name on the history books displaying a powerful run to cross the finish line first of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games PTS2 class to become the first woman to ever win two consecutive gold medals - Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020- in Para Triathlon. Behind her, her teammate Hailey Danz claimed silver and Italian Veronica Yoko Plebani finished in the third place.

Only 8 women toed the start line in the PTS2 class in Tokyo, for a sprint distance race consisting of a single 750m lap of the Bay, followed by four 5km laps of a flat and technical bike course towards Ariake Tennis Park then heading north over Fujimi Bridge and doubling back towards Odaiba. The final run segment will see four laps of 1.25km, finishing in front of the grandstands on Odaiba Beach.

And it was Yukako Hata (JPN) who showed a magnificent display of swimming technique, for much delight of the locals, to lead the swim and even making up over one minute to enter the first transition ahead of some PTS4 men that had started one minute before.

Behind her, the American trio of Melissa Stockwell, Hailey Danz and Alysa Seely were trying to push to put themselves in a position to repeat the podium sweep for their country as they did in Rio 2016, but the young Italian Veronica Yoko Plebani was up for the challenge of trying to avoid it, along with British Fran Brown.

As soon as they were on their bikes, Hata couldn’t keep up with their pace and the fourth of them just went all in, taking turns in the lead to establish a gap with the fifth place of almost 2 minutes by the end f the 20km ride, but staying all four of them quite close together, in less than 30 seconds.

With four places for only three medals, it was clear that everything was going to be decided in the 5km final run, and it was Danz who decided to strike first, establishing in the first kilometer a significant gap, with Brown struggling to keep up with the three leaders. Despite Danz not ever looking back, it was a matter of time that Seeley decided to go for it and passed her teammate with less than one kilometer to go, proving that she is the fastest runner on the field.

Seely crossed the first line in first place, the second consecutive Paralympic gold of her career, to look back and see her teammate and training partner Danz finishing in second, while Plebani was all smiles to claim the bronze medal.

“I just can’t believe what happened this morning, it is just incredible”, said Seely. “My real goal was to create as much of a gap on the bike course (as possible) because I know that is my strength. I came off with a gap (after the bike) that I felt was going to be enough, but I guess I just didn’t have the run legs today.”, said her teammate Danz.

Brown, still recovering from a partial bowel removal that has left her with hydration and nutrition issues lately, finished in fourth place, while Melissa Stockell, the USA flagbearer and bronze medallist in Rio 2016, closed the top five. Behind her, Hata, Rakel Mateo Uriarte (ESP) and Veronika Gabitova (RPC), who made her debut at the Games after missing Rio 2016 due to the ban on Russia.

This medal event saw the withdraw of Liisa Lilja from Finland just 10 days before the Games started, due to a road bike accident, which adds to the one suffered by French Cecile Saboreau at the end of July. This has left the field with only 8 athletes.

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Related Event: Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games
24 - 05 Sep, 2021 • event pageall results
Results: PTWC Men
1. Jetze Plat H2 NED 00:57:51
2. Florian Brungraber H2 AUT 00:59:55
3. Giovanni Achenza H1 ITA 01:02:05
4. Geert Schipper H2 NED 01:03:01
5. Ahmed Andaloussi H1 FRA 01:04:45
Results: PTS4 Men
1. Alexis Hanquinquant FRA 00:59:58
2. Hideki Uda JPN 01:03:45
3. Alejandro Sánchez Palomero ESP 01:04:24
4. Jiachao Wang CHN 01:04:54
5. Antonio Franko CRO 01:05:49
Results: PTS5 Men
1. Martin Schulz GER 00:58:10
2. George Peasgood GBR 00:58:55
3. Stefan Daniel CAN 00:59:22
4. Chris Hammer USA 00:59:28
5. Ronan Cordeiro BRA 01:01:22
Results: PTVI Men
1. Brad Snyder B1 USA 01:01:16
2. Héctor Catalá Laparra B2 ESP 01:02:11
3. Satoru Yoneoka B1 JPN 01:02:20
4. Thibaut Rigaudeau B2 FRA 01:02:48
5. Kyle Coon B1 USA 01:03:00
Results: PTWC Women
1. Kendall Gretsch H2 USA 01:06:25
2. Lauren Parker H1 AUS 01:06:26
3. Eva María Moral Pedrero H1 ESP 01:14:59
4. Jessica Ferreira H1 BRA 01:16:23
5. Brenda Osnaya Alvarez H1 MEX 01:16:32
Results: PTS2 Women
1. Allysa Seely USA 01:14:03
2. Hailey Danz USA 01:14:58
3. Veronica Yoko Plebani ITA 01:15:55
4. Fran Brown GBR 01:19:42
5. Melissa Stockwell USA 01:21:25
Results: PTVI Women
1. Susana Rodriguez B1 ESP 01:07:15
2. Anna Barbaro B1 ITA 01:11:11
3. Annouck Curzillat B1 FRA 01:11:45
4. Alison Peasgood B2 GBR 01:11:47
5. Jessica Tuomela B1 CAN 01:12:53
Results: PTS5 Women
1. Lauren Steadman GBR 01:04:46
2. Grace Norman USA 01:05:27
3. Claire Cashmore GBR 01:07:36
4. Kamylle Frenette CAN 01:10:09
5. Alisa Kolpakchy UKR 01:13:29
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