Canada's Stefan Daniel reaches top of podium at para-triathlon worlds
20-year-old was eager to regain title following silver in Rio
Canada's Stefan Daniel took gold in para-triathlon at the world championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on Friday.
The 20 year-old Calgarian, who won his first world title in 2015, was on a mission to reclaim the honour after being forced to settle for second place behind his top rival Martin Schulz of Germany at the sport's Paralympic debut last year in Rio.
Daniel took care of business by smashing the field with a time of one hour one minute 20 seconds in the sprint distance format.
"It went really well. I tried to stick with Martin Schulz on the swim and I was able to do that," said Daniel, who added the race was delayed one hour due to rainy weather conditions. "I just tried to play it safe. It was technical and wet out there so I tried to stay upright on the bike and in contact."
Challenging weather conditions
Brutal weather conditions all week prevented the Canadian from training on the tricky bike course prior to the race, but Daniel followed the game plan set by coach Carolyn Murray to near perfection throughout the 20-kilometre ride.
"It was a bit of a challenge. I didn't believe it was safe to ride this week so we didn't do it. This was the first time I did the course, so on the first lap I really just had to figure it out. It was fine. Everything was good and I was able to have a good ride," said Daniel.
Daniel took the lead into second transition and let his running legs do the talking on the five-kilometre jaunt through the streets of Rotterdam.
"The goal was really to stay upright and in contact [on the bike]. I headed into T2 in first and I knew right away I had the run legs so I was happy."
Spain's Jairo Ruiz Lope finished two minutes back in second place at 1:03:21 while American Chris Hammer claimed bronze with a time of 1:03:44.
Schulz dropped out of the run midway through the second lap.