USA Triathlon (USAT) has announced that John Murray, Connie Sol and Mark Sortino will serve as the coaching staff for the USA Paratriathlon Worlds team at the 2013 ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in London, England, this September.
The trio will lead more than 40 of the US nation’s top paratriathletes as they represent the United States in a sprint-distance triathlon event on 13 September. The World Team is comprised of a number of past national and world championship medallists competing in seven classification divisions. In 2012, the US earned 13 podium finishes to top the overall medal count.
John Murray (Pensacola, Florida) and Mark Sortino (San Diego, California), are both USA Triathlon Level II certified coaches, and train athletes through the Multisport Performance Institute (MPI). They have been involved in a number of paratriathlon camps and clinics across the US.
The pair led two Challenged Athlete Foundation (CAF) Dodge Paratriathlon Camps in 2013, providing tools, techniques and skills necessary for success in the sport. Additionally, Sortino coached athletes at the USA Paratriathlon High Performance Camps at US Olympic Training Centers in Chula Vista, California, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, while Murray led the charge at the Team Semper Fi triathlon camp in April, helping wounded veterans learn more about paratriathlon.
Connie Sol (Miami, Florida) is a USA Triathlon Level III certified coach and has been developing coaching and biomechanical rehabilitation programs for athletes since 1995, with a specialization in paratriathlon since 2004. She helped introduce the sport to the Miami-Dade Parks program in 2013 and assists with talent identification in the paratriathlon pipeline.
Sol and Sortino were also part of the coaching staff at the first paratriathlon-specific high performance camp held by USA Triathlon in July 2012.
“We have had the opportunity to coach these outstanding athletes at high performance camps throughout the year and are excited to bring such a strong, experienced and accomplished team to London,” Sortino said.
As the coaching staff for the USA Paratriathlon Worlds Team – Murray, Sol and Sortino will serve as key resources for US paratriathletes in the lead up to Worlds and on site during race week in September. These coaches will provide mentorship and training advice prior to the event, and as on-site coaches, they will discuss race strategies with the athletes.
They will also organize group rides, runs, swims and transition practices in the lead up to race day. The 2013 paratriathlon events will take place at the same Hyde Park venue as the 2012 London Olympic Games.
USAT notes that interest in paratriathlon is at an all-time high and the sport continues to grow following its inclusion in the Paralympic Games program. Paratriathlon will make its official debut at the Paralympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro.