By Duncan Mackay

Paratriathlon generalMarch 24 - At least nine cities on five continents, including London for the World Championships, will feature in the new Para-triathlon season as the sport prepares to make its Paralympic debuat at Rio 2016. 

For the frist time, each Continental Championship race will also host a Para-triathlon Continental Championship event, with Oceania having recently hosted the first competition of its kind in Wellington.

Para-triathletes are also expected to participate in the Continental Championships in Asia and Africa for the first time ever this season.

"Para-triathlon continues to rise in popularity, as evidenced by record high participation at the World Championships in Auckland last year," said International Triathlon Union (ITU) President Marisol Casado.

"As we look forward to the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, ITU is dedicated to hosting top-level international paratriathlon events."

Various International Para-triathlon event races will be held in conjunction with the ITU World Triathlon Series.

Similarly, Edmonton will welcome paratriathletes to race while also hosting the ITU World Cup and the PATCO Junior Pan American Cup.

Disability thletes new to triathlon will have five races in which they will be offered official classification from a qualified panel of specialists.

The season is due to close with the World Championships in London as a part of the PruHealth World Triathlon Grand Final on September 11-15 in what is expected to be the biggest Para-triathlon event to date.

2013 ITU Para-triathlon season

Para-triathlon International Events:
April 20: San Diego ITU International Paratriathlon Event, USA (Classification Offered)
May 12: Yokohama ITU International Paratriathlon Event, Japan
June 22: Edmonton ITU International Paratriathlon Event, Canada

Para-triathlon Continental Championships:
March 9: 2013 Wellington OTU Triathlon Oceania Championships, New Zealand (Classification)
April 27: 2013 Subic Bay ASTC Triathlon Asian Championships, Philippines
May 25: 2013 Agadir ATU Triathlon African Championships, Morocco
June 16: 2013 ETU Triathlon European Championships, Turkey (Classification offered)
June 29: 2013 Vila Velha PATCO Triathlon Pan American Championships, Brazil (Classification TBC)

Para-triathlon World Championships:
September 13: 2013 London ITU Paratriathlon World Championships, UK (Classification Offered)

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

Related stories
December 2011: ITU becomes official member of the IPC
December 2011: United States and Canada "thrilled" at inclusion of triathlon and canoe for Rio 2016 Paralympics
December 2010: Triathlon and canoeing celebrate inclusion in Rio 2016 Paralympics
December 2010: Two new sports added to Rio 2016 Paralympic programme