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Lauren Parker’s world championship triumph ‘special’

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Revered Ironman analyst Pete Murray has labelled Lauren Parker’s latest international triumph a “special moment” in his commentating career.

The much-loved Novocastrian powered home to win the PTWC crown at the 2022 World Triathlon Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi this week.

The 33-year-old crossed the finish line in a time of 1:08.43, relegating USA’s Kendall Gretsch (1:09.08) and Brazil’s Jessica Ferreira (1:11.12) into the minor placings.

Newcastle’s Lauren Parker (centre) with USA’s Kendall Gretsch and Brazilian Jessica Ferreira.

It was a brilliant effort by Parker, who overcame technical issues on the bike that cost her almost a minute over the field but, thankfully, not her title chances.

She completed the 750m swim in 11.57 and followed up the next 20km leg in 38.41.

A sizzling 14.09, for the 5km run, was the icing on the cake.

Gretsch, lightning fast in transition, chased hard through the final segment however couldn’t reel in the Newcastle paratriathlete, as she did in Tokyo.

In the end, Parker prevailed by 25 seconds from the American and last year’s runner-up Ferreira.

Murray, who has called hundreds of thousands of triathletes throughout his illustrious career, admitted he was in awe of her performance.

“It’s definitely a highlight of my [commentary] gigs,” said the Port Macquarie-based legend, who contested 13 Ironman events himself, including world championships in Hawaii and New Zealand.

“Lauren is truly one of the most inspirational and talented athletes in the world.

“And, I just love her determination to succeed.

“To see her become a three-time world champion is brilliant.

“Every element – the pre-race chat with Lauren, calling the race as it unfolded, announcing her as the world champ at the finish line and the awards ceremony, and the playing of the National Anthem – was special.”

In the men’s division, Netherlands’ Jetze Plat added yet another success to his remarkable winning streak.

The World Triathlon Para Championships kicked off the 2022 Championship Finals Abu Dhabi.

The elite spectacle is hugely-inclusive with thousands of global, local and regional triathletes taking part across five categories: men’s and women’s, U23s, para, age group (super sprint time trial distance, standard distance and aqua bike), and the community and youth races.

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