By Kent Gray/ in Devonport
As long as there is still a chance, no matter how remote, Kurt Peterson won’t give up on his dream of becoming New Zealand’s first Paralympian triathlete.

The 36-year-old Aucklander is the sole Kiwi set to compete at ‘World Triathlon Para Series Devonport’ on Friday, the opening round of the global governing body’s top-tier para circuit.

Peterson needs a big result in Tasmania to supercharge his Paris Paralympics campaign. His bid to be reclassified to PTS3 has been denied by World Triathlon following an assessment of the severity of his cerebral palsy, meaning he remains in the faster PTS4 category.

Peterson’s performance at the Oceania Triathlon Para Championships in February underscores the challenge he faces to snare the haul of ranking points required to put himself in the frame for Paris. In Stockton, he completed the sprint – 750m run, 20km bike, 5km run – in 1:22:27, more than 27 minutes down on Aussie Jeremy Peacock who is also the favourite in Devonport.

The gulf in time has only inspired Peterson to push himself beyond what have been career best times personally.

“I have brought [coach] Rob Dallimore over here again as we need to go as fast as we possibly can to be in a whiff of points,” Peterson told

“This may be one of the last chances we have on this side of the world to get some solid points before we may head to Europe before the qualifying window closes. 

“I feel upbeat of our chances. I feel I have improved massively on the cycle and judging with my Round the Bays pace of 35 minutes last weekend, if that was anything to go by, we’ve got some good pace on the run also.”

Peterson with coach Rob Dallimore

The challenge for Peterson, as ever, is not leaving himself too much to do out of the water.

“My big concern is my swim. Speed has improved but nowhere near as much as I would have liked,” he said.

“I have found some things that may help with a more powerful stroke but with limited time left, we will give it everything and see how we go.

“The positive is that it looks as if the sea will be choppy for the race, and I’ve practiced well going through waves going out and catching waves coming in, which may be an advantage.

“Transitions have also improved a lot so really excited to nail this latest race and put it all out there. Then we can look at the qualifying picture later.”

World Triathlon Para Series Devonport headlines a big weekend with Devonport set to host the Oceania Triathlon Sprint & Relay Championships on Saturday and Sunday.

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