Rio 2016 Paralympics: Katie Kelly team-up with Michellie Jones produces gold in para-triathlon

By @vitthernandez on
Katie Kelly
Kelly, who has Usher syndrome, has minimal hearing and tunnel-vision sight. Facebook/Katie Kelly

Australia got its fifth gold in the ongoing Rio 2016 Paralympics with the tandem of legendary ironwoman Michellie Jones and Katie Kelly wining the country’s first gold medal in para-triathlon. The win by the pair on Sunday follows two more gold medals won by swimmers Maddison Eliott and Lakeisha Patterson who gave Australia its first gold medal in the Paralympics with her S8 400 metre win on Friday.

The victories gave Australia five gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals to place seventh overall, reports Herald Sun. The two initially emerged fourth in the opening swim leg of the competition, 53 seconds behind the Dutch duo who led.

However, Jones and Kelly reduced the lead of the Dutch team on the bike leg and was two seconds ahead with one lap to go. They were 33 seconds ahead of competition halfway through the two-lap run phase, assuring them of the gold medal.

Katie Kelly & Michellie Jones Jones served as guide to Kelly as the two crossed the finish line 1:02 ahead of Alison Patrick and guide Hazel Smith of Great Britain to win in the PT5 category after a 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike run and 5-kilometre run.  Facebook/Katie Kelly

Jones, who turned 47 before the Rio opening ceremony, is the first Australian women to win in the Hawaiian Ironman. Kelly, who has Usher syndrome, has minimal hearing and tunnel-vision sight. Jones served as guide to Kelly as the two crossed the finish line 1:02 ahead of Alison Patrick and guide Hazel Smith of Great Britain to win in the PT5 category after a 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike run and 5-kilometre run, reports Sydney Morning Herald.

Kelly said, “I’m truly honoured and chuffed and to do that para-triathlon here at Rio is really special moment.” In January 2015, her eyesight worsened that Kelly was legally blind. She asked Triathlon Australia her options about being vision-impaired athlete and was advised about the Paralympics.

VIDEO: Katie Kelly – Paratriathlete

Source: Triathlon Australia