Nearly 60 competitors in five categories took in the International Triathlon Union (ITU) Paratriathlon Chicago event today, with the highlight being the victory of local athlete Hailey Danesewicz over countrywoman Melissa Stockwell, the three-time world champion, who also comes from the Windy City.
Not that Stockwell, the first female soldier to lose a limb in the Iraq War, was disappointed as afterwards she revealed she is five months pregnant.
"My goal was to not walk on the run," Stockwell told the Team USA website.
."I just wanted to go out there and do it, and I'm really happy with how it went."
Danesewicz, 23, the reigning world champion in the PT2 category covered the 750 metres swim, 20 kilometres cycle ride and 5km ride in 1 hour 32min 48sec.
Stockwell finished nearly six minutes behind, despite swimming the third fastest time of the day - among both men and women.
Daneswicz, who lost her left leg nine years ago due to bone cancer, has been mentored by Stockwell since joining Dare2tri, a Paratriathlon club co-founded by her.
"To have seen her from her very first 5k ever up to World Championships last year, just to see her success, it's amazing," said Stockwell.
"I'm so proud of her."
The races gave athletes the opportunity to test a course that is scheduled to host the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in September 2015, an event that will have extra significance as it will be less than a year before the sport makes its debut on the Paralympic programme at Rio 2016.
"As we get closer to Rio, these ITU events are going to keep getting smaller and tighter," said Californian Jamie Brown, winner of the PT3 category.
"If I keep building up points, stay healthy and keep training hard, I'd love to represent the US. [at the World Championships]."
Americans won seven of the ten gold medals available, an exception being the PT4 category where Britain's world bronze medallist Clare Cunningham triumphed.
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