ENCINITAS — Encinitas resident and Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics patient Andre Szucs, a below-the-knee amputee, boarded a plane to Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 7 for the Paratriathlon World Championship competition.
This race is the highest race level for the paratriathlon category Olympic distance. Szucs, now 30, was born without his right leg below the knee, but that has never kept him from excelling at sports.
Szucs grew up participating in sports and dedicated himself to becoming a high-performance athlete. After eight years of competitive swimming, Szucs was inspired by other amputees competing in triathlons and started training for his first triathlon five years ago. In 2009, he placed sixth in the World Championship Paratriathlon in Australia.
The Paratriathlon World Champion competition Szucs will be participating in on Sept. 11 consists of a 750-meter swim, 20-kilometer bike, and a 5-kilometer run. His goal is to finish within one hour and five-to-ten minutes and guarantee a place in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.
Szucs is a triathlon coach and founder of Brazil’s Royal Tri Triathlon Team. He recently took a position with Hanger Prosthetics & Orthotics as a business development manager.