By Tom Degun

melissa_stockwellSeptember 6 - Reigning world champion Melissa Stockwell (pictured) is part of a star-studded United States team that will compete at the 2011 ITU Para-triathlon World Championships in Beijing, China, on Friday (September 9).

Stockwell, last year's USA para-triathlon Athlete of the Year, is joined in the 19-strong squad by eight other reigning national champions, Robin Caruso, Geoffrey Kennedy, David Kyle, Danielle McLaughlin, Beth Price, Travis Ricks, Joel Rosinbum and Patricia Walsh.

Caruso is a strong medal contender, having won the USA national title in the TRI-4 category in 2008, 2009 and 2010, while Walsh is the surprise package of the team, having shown superb form in her first year as a national team member.

Veteran Sarah Reinertsen is also heading to Beijing to represent USA Triathlon. Reinertsen – the first female leg amputee to complete the Ironman Triathlon World Championship in Hawaii, in 2005 – stormed to gold in an elite para-triathlon event held alongside the London ITU World Championship Series in Hyde Park last month.

Two-time world champions Ivonne Mosquera-Schmidt, Beth Price and Aaron Scheidies are also in the USA team, which, between them, boast 14 International Triathlon Union (ITU) para-triathlon World Championship medals, including eight golds.

The World Championship para-triathlon event in China features a 750-metre swim followed by a 20-kilometre bike and 5-kilometre run, and takes place ahead of the able-bodied ITU World Championship Series Grand Final, which is on Saturday and Sunday (September 10-11).

Contact the writer of this article at [email protected]

Related stories
August 2011: US Paratriathletes vie for place at Worlds at this weekend's Nationals
May 2011: America names strong Para-triathlon squad for new season
January 2011: Perkins and Stockwell scoop USA Paratriathlete of year awards