For Greene County News
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Triathlon today announced eight paratriathletes who have met the qualification standards and will represent the United States in triathlon’s debut at the Paralympic Games this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The eight initial members of the U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team are:
Krige Schabort (PT1, Rome, Ga.); Hailey Danisewicz (PT2, Chicago, Ill.); Allysa Seely (PT2, Glendale, Ariz.); Mark Barr (PT2, Houston, Texas); Grace Norman (PT4, Jamestown, Ohio); Chris Hammer (PT4, Salt Lake City, Utah); Patricia Walsh (PT5, Austin, Texas); Elizabeth Baker (PT5, Signal Mountain, Tenn.)
“We are pleased to have such a strong and large delegation leading into our sports debut this September,” said Amanda Duke Boulet, USA Paratriathlon Program Senior Manager. “We have a good mix of veteran Paralympians and first-time Paralympians that can help to mentally prepare each other for the Games. We know we have some medal contenders in this group and are looking forward to watching these eight athletes make history in Rio.”
The triathlon events on the Paralympic Games program will be contested on Sept. 10-11 at Copacabana Beach, with the men competing on Sept. 10 and the women scheduled to compete on Sept. 11. Triathlon’s Paralympic debut will feature three sport classes per gender: PT1/wheelchair, PT2/severe impairment and PT4/mild impairment for men, and PT2, PT4 and PT5/visual impairment for women. Paratriathlon was added to the Paralympic Games program in December 2010.
The eight U.S. quota spots for the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team were confirmed on June 30 with the close of the Paralympic Games qualification period. The quota spots were awarded based on international rankings of U.S. athletes from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. The eight athletes filling these spots met qualification criteria set by USA Triathlon, including top finishes at the 2015 Rio de Janeiro ITU World Paratriathlon Event on Aug. 1 and the 2016 CAMTRI Paratriathlon American Championships on March 13 in Sarasota, Florida.
In addition to country quota spots awarded through the rankings process, a number of invitations will be awarded to individual athletes by the Paratriathlon Bipartite Commission. Any additional athletes invited to compete in Rio in September, and therefore awarded spots on the U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team, will be announced by USA Triathlon on or after July 8, when the invitations are issued to athletes by the commission.
Norman is the youngest member of the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team. Since her international triathlon debut in 2014, she has won seven medals in ITU events, including silver at the Rio de Janeiro ITU World Paratriathlon Event and the 2015 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships. Norman, a two-time PT4 national champion, is also an accomplished track runner and could potentially compete in two sports in Rio this September.
Norman finished third in the 200-meter run on Thursday at the U.S. Paralympic Trials in Charlotte, N.C. with a lifetime PR of 28.76 seconds, but voluntarily gave her spot on the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Team to Liz Willis, who placed fourth in the event. Norman, ranked fourth in the world in the women’s 400-meter run, is the current American record holder in that event. She’ll race in the women’s 400 final at 4:15 p.m. Sunday.
Visit usatriathlon.org/rio2016 for the latest news and information regarding the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Triathlon Teams.
All qualifications and nominations to the U.S. Paralympic Triathlon Team are pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.