Parker wins paratriathlon world title

Lauren Parker has turned the tables on great American rival Kendall Gretsch to win her third wheelchair paratriathlon world title in Abu Dhabi.

The 33-year-old from Newcastle showed all of her tenacity and never-say-die attitude to overcome a mechanical issue on the handcycle and searing heat.

Gretsch had pipped Parker for the Tokyo Paralympic gold medal but Parker exacted revenge on Thursday as she added to her world titles won in Lausanne in 2019 and Abu Dhabi last year.

Gretsch (PTWC2) started three minutes 42 seconds behind Parker (PTWC1) and the rest of the field and, after a superb swim, Parker lost time on the handcycle (bike leg) when she was forced to pull over with issues with her gears.

Gretsch gradually ate into the lead, narrowing the gap to 30 seconds inside the final wheelchair lap but Parker held on to take the win by 15 seconds in one hour 08.43with Brazil's Jessica Ferreira (1:11.12) taking bronze. Australia's Sara Tait was ninth in 1:27.51.

"My gears stopped working on the first lap of the bike so I had to change batteries...but I overcame that...kept pushing on and I did it...." Parker said.

"There was no panic, I had a spare battery on the bike and so I just swapped it over; it must have drained between warm up and the start of the race and I'm not sure what happened there...I was just lucky I had the spare battery- I just had to stay positive and keep pushing."

Parker admitted she didn't have the best training build up, saying: "I just had a few issues with my preparation.

"I did the Kona Ironman five weeks ago and I recovered pretty well from that followed by five weeks prep for this one, but I was able to do it."