Norman starts triathlon season with win


XENIA — Grace Norman successfully defended her gold medal at the Para World Cup on June 17 in Besancon, France.

Expected to be a close competition with Laura Steadman, the gold medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, Norman was the race winner by nearly a minute after finishing with a time of 1:09:28.

Norman, the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic gold medalist, led the race after the initial 750-meter swim, but was passed by Steadman during the biking portion. Norman’s bike did not arrive until the night before the race, causing her to train with replacements provided by fellow competitors.

The two racers were tied after the 20-kilometer ride, but Steadman produced a 10-second advantage for herself during the transition phase into the 5k run. Norman, however, was able to run her down during the the first mile of the run and ended up finishing that part of the race by more than a minute faster to pull out the victory.

Norman, a Jamestown native, said it was a last minute decision to add the race to the schedule. She competes in the PTS5 classification for mild impairments where she is ranked No. 1 in the world, according to

She is entered into the World Triathlon Para Series event in Montreal which gets underway on Saturday. She said it will begin a six-week period of competing in triathlons, which also includes events in Canada and England.

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