Canadian Para triathletes Stefan Daniel and Kamylle Frenette both reached the podium on home soil at the World Para Triathlon Series event in Montreal on Saturday.
Daniel captured gold in the men’s PTS5 race, while Frenette claimed bronze on the women’s side in the same classification to kick off the Paralympic qualification period.
Daniel, a two-time Paralympic medallist from Calgary, performed well throughout the hot race to win with a time of 57 minutes 24 seconds. He finished the 750-metre swim section in 10:40, the 20-kilometre bike section in 28:26 and the 5km run in 16:56.
“I’m happy to secure a win and start my Paris 2024 qualification [period] off really well,” Daniel said in a release. “The race was pretty tough today. I knew going in that the heat and humidity would be a big factor.”
The 26-year-old business student at the University of Calgary was born with bilateral radial club hands. His dad, brother and cousin were there cheering him on.
Daniel trailed Portugal’s Filipe Marques during the swim in the Olympic basin but pulled ahead on the bike at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Daniel held on for the victory during the run at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
“The bike felt controlled and smooth. I’ve been riding a lot recently getting ready for a half Ironman in a couple of weeks so I’m happy with how the bike felt. The course was so fun, you hardly have to touch your brakes which was awesome,” Daniel said.
“I just had to hang tough on the run. Thankfully I had enough of a gap on the other guys to hold them off. It was a tough race, but I’m looking forward to continuing to progress for the big races later this year.”
Chris Hammer of the U.S. finished second in 57:37, followed by Brazil’s Ronan Cordeiro (57:42).
‘Fun to race on home soil’
Frenette reached her first World Para Triathlon Series podium of the season later in the day, battling to a third-place finish with a time of 1:06:40.
The Dieppe, N.B., native led the field after a strong swim and maintained podium position through the bike and run sections.
“Today was all about executing the plan, and I feel like I did that which is a big win,” said Frenette, who turned 27 on Tuesday. “I surprised myself on the swim and fell short on the bike but managed to close the gap a bit on the run.
American Grace Norman continued her dominance in the PTS5 classification, topping the podium in 1:03:06. Great Britain’s Lauren Steadman finished ahead of Frenette for silver (1:05:05).
Frenette won bronze at the 2022 world championships and finished fourth at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2021.
WATCH | Athletics North — Frenette takes broken bike for run at Para-Triathlon Cup:
Winnipeg’s Leanne Taylor just missed the podium in the women’s wheelchair division, finishing fourth with a time of 1:08:20.
In other Canadian results, Jessica Tuomela of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and her Victoria-based guide, Emma Skaug, finished fifth in the women’s visually impaired race (1:12:02), while Hicham Boufekane was sixth in the men’s PTS3 race (1:42:10).