Newcastle's Lauren Parker ranked No.1 for Tokyo Paralympic qualification rankings

SMILES ALL ROUND: Lauren Parker (centre) with her support team after claiming her maiden world title in Switzerland. Picture: Twitter via @medaverobbo
SMILES ALL ROUND: Lauren Parker (centre) with her support team after claiming her maiden world title in Switzerland. Picture: Twitter via @medaverobbo

Newcastle's Lauren Parker has rocketed to the top of the ITU Paralympic qualification rankings for next year's Games in Tokyo after claiming her maiden world title.

Having only began paratriathlon following a freak training accident in April 2017 and despite ongoing health issues, inspirational Parker continued her meteoric rise to the top of the sport by earning 700 points for a dominant display in Switzerland in the early hours of Monday morning (AEST).

This latest performance at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Lusanne takes wheelchair athlete Parker to 1424.07 points, almost 100 clear of her nearest rival, as the 30-year-old looks to book a Paralympic debut in 2020.

Australia's latest champion on the international stage, Parker has already started to make her way to Spain for the next ITU Paratriathlon World Cup in Banyoles this Sunday along with her extended support team.

"Honoured to be part of something very special yesterday in Lausanne," fellow Novocastrian and Parker's race handler Dave Robertson posted on social media.

"Well done Lozza, super proud."

Parker herself was taken aback by the achievement.

"I can't even put into words how I'm feeling, I'm just so happy," Parker told Triathlon Australia.

"The whole day went my way starting off from a great swim. I felt great on the bike and great on the run as well."

Parker posted 12 minutes and 46 seconds for the swim section and maintained her lead throughout the bike and run disciplines.

She finished a commanding two minutes clear of her nearest competitor.

Parker's coach Dan Atkins couldn't have been happier.

"I won't lie, I got a lot of goosebumps out there and got a bit emotional," Atkins told Triathlon Australia.

"It's been a really hard road for Loz and we've been preparing for this race for well over a year now ... we targeted it and executed it absolutely perfectly; I'm one happy coach."

Oceania champion Parker claimed bronze at the same ITU World Triathlon Grand Final event 12 months ago on the Gold Coast, where she also finished third at the Commonwealth Games.

With just one year left until the Paralympics, the former triathlete had already picked up 724.07 qualifying points from a recent third in Tokyo and fourth in Canada.

She underwent more spinal surgery earlier this year and overcame an ovarian cyst in June.

This story Lauren Parker ranked No.1 for Paralympic qualification first appeared on Newcastle Herald.