Why it matters: Paralympic hopeful Anu Francis wins a silver medal for Australia in the 2023 World Triathlon Para Series, despite organisers dropping her best discipline due to weather.
Setting the pace: The Welsh weather forced the bike leg to be dropped, turning the triathlon into an Aquathlon. Despite this, Francis managed to secure second place, outpacing France's Cecile Saboureau and finishing only behind the USA’s Allysa Seely.
What they're saying:
- "It was a great race by Anu.. she willed herself into second," said Triathlon Australia’s Paralympic Performance Manager Kyle Burns.
- "Conditions were incredibly tricky. The wind had a big effect on the swim and it advantaged some and disadvantaged others," Burns explained.
By the numbers:
- Anu Francis secured a silver medal, finishing ahead of Cecile Saboureau by one second.
- Australia had other strong performances: Sam Harding and Jack Howell each finished 4th in their respective categories.
Between transition: Australia lost the chance of another medal as three-time World Champion and Paralympic silver medallist Lauren Parker had to withdraw due to an injury. The weather also forced a change from the format to an aquathlon, leaving a hole in the competition.
Through Time: Francis' performance continues to impress, as this marks her second straight silver in Swansea after she secured a podium spot in her maiden World Triathlon Para Series race last year.
The bottom line: Francis' sterling silver win in Swansea reinforces her position as a Paralympic hopeful and highlights her ability to adapt and excel under challenging conditions. It also brings attention to the unpredictable nature of outdoor competitions and their impact on athletes' performances.