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America’s Kendall Gretsch overtakes Laura Parker on the line to take women’s para-triathlon gold

American Kendall Gretsch overtakes Laura Parker on the finish line to take gold in the women’s para-triathlon… despite the Australian leading for the ENTIRE race 

  • America’s Kendall Gretsch took gold in the women’s individual PTWC race
  • The para-triathlete overtook Australia’s Laura Parker on the finish line in Tokyo 
  • Parker led for all the race and was three minutes ahead of Gretsch at one point
  • But backmarker problems for the Australian allowed Gretsch to catch up 

American Paralympian Kendall Gretsch dramatically won gold in the women’s individual PTWC by overtaking Australia Laura Parker on the line – who had led for the entire race. 

Gretsch was 25 seconds behind leader Parker going into the final kilometre of the para-triathlon race but miraculously clawed her way back to snatch the gold medal by just a single second.

The 29-year-old has now become just the fifth American to ever win a gold medal at both the winter and summer Paralympic Games and was delighted following the sprint finish at the Odaiba Marine Park. 

American Kendall Gretsch (right) edged of Laura Paker in the women’s Paralympic triathlon

Parker (back) led the race for the whole race but was edged out but Gretsch (front) on the line

Parker (back) led the race for the whole race but was edged out but Gretsch (front) on the line

‘I couldn’t see her in front of me until halfway through that lap,’ said Gretsch.

‘As soon as I saw her, I was like, “Hey! You just have to do it. You have to give everything you can”.’

Silver medallist Parker said she could not have done anything more: ‘I put my head down and went for it. I’m pretty proud of my efforts.’

After the first swimming leg, Gretsch was in sixth place and nearly three-and-a-half minutes behind Parker out in front, before an incredible cycling effort moved her up into second. 

Gretsch (right) was sixth after the first leg and 25 seconds behind Parker in the last kilometre

Gretsch (right) was sixth after the first leg and 25 seconds behind Parker in the last kilometre

Gretsch (middle) is now the fifth American to win gold at the summer and winter Paralympics

Gretsch (middle) is now the fifth American to win gold at the summer and winter Paralympics

She then forced a sprint finish at the line after Parker suffered from backmarker problems as the home straight neared. 

Gretsch began her Paralympic career as a cross-country skier in the Winter Olympics, winning two gold medals in the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The 29-year-old also won six world championship medals in 2017.  

She took up skiing, rather than her main sport as para-triathlon, as her wheelchair class was not picked as a Paralympic category until these Games. 

Gretsch made the switch for the Tokyo Games and how has a gold medal in only her second Paralympic cycle.  

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk