Six competitors have been selected to swim, bike and run throughout the Ontario Place West Channel at the Pan Am Games. Triathlon Canada’s picks include longtime national team members and newcomers to race in July.
The women’s team will be led by London 2012 Olympian Paula Findlay. She first became a national team member in 2006, competing in the World Junior Championship. Since then Findlay has built a resume of impressive performances, including becoming the first Canadian to win a World Triathlon Series event in 2010, something she has done five times.
The men’s side will look to impress with three strong performers. Olympian Kyle Jones will be out to win his first Pan Am medal on home soil after finishing fourth at Rio 2007 and Guadalajara 2011. After being named a London 2012 alternate, Andrew York placed fourth at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year in a highly competitive field. Tyler Mislawchuk, the newest addition to the national team was the top performer this year placing 10th at the World Triathlon Series.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity to step up onto the podium and claim a medal. To have this opportunity at a home Games makes it that much more special. Having family, friends and people that have supported me through my entire career on the sidelines watching will be a unique experience that I look forward to.” Said Jones.
Triathlon will take place on the West Channel, one of five venues included in Pan AM Park. The women will compete on July 11 followed by the men on July 12. (Get tickets)
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MAGOG, Que.—Kyle Jones and Amelie Kretz successfully defended their national titles at the Canadian Triathlon Championships being held in conjunction with the Pan American Cup race in Magog, Que. on Saturday.
The 29-year-old Jones put his second win in consecutive weeks under his belt before heading to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The Oakville, Ont. based Olympian was the lone Canadian on the men’s podium after posting a winning time of 53 minutes 48.8 seconds in the sprint race which consists of a 750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike and 5 kilometre run.
“Things felt really good today for me. I know my fitness is there and the body felt good. It was really neat to race against Alan (Webb) from the U.S. and I’m happy with how things went,” said Jones, who has rattled off three straight national titles. “These two races at home in Canada was perfect preparation for the Commonwealth Games. Not only being in a comfortable place, but having success was also good for me mentally.”
Jones was sandwiched on the podium by two Americans. Webb finished behind Jones in the sprint finish with a time of 53:50.7. Kaleb Vanort rounded out the men’s podium in third at 53:53.0. Alexander Hinton, of Kingston, Ont., was in the mix until midway through the run where he dropped off the pack to finish fourth at 54:03.08, giving him second place in the National Championships.
Jones, who is competing in his first-ever Commonwealth Games, crossed the finish line and kept on running to the airport to catch his flight to Glasgow.
“I’m really looking forward to representing Canada at the Games,” said Jones. “The men’s race is really top heavy with the Brownlees (Great Britain) obviously but I’m feeling good and I’m going to give everything I have. I think the course suits me over there.”
Meanwhile, Amelie Kretz, also won her second-straight Canadian Championship crown. Making her return from injury which has kept her out of most of the season, the Blainville, Que. native dropped the field to win the women’s elite sprint race handily with a time of 1:02:14.8.
Kretz pulled ahead of friend and training partner, Joanna Brown of Carp, Ont., who secured the silver medal with a time of 1:02:45.1. American, Summer Cook, grabbed the bronze at 1:03:01.2.
TORONTO— Kyle Jones completed a strong tune-up race before representing Canada at the Commonwealth Games by winning the men’s ITU Pan American Cup Race in Toronto on Saturday. Dominika Jamnicky captured her first career win in the women’s race.
The 29-year-old Jones, who grew up just west of Canada’s largest city in Oakville, Ont., was at the front of the pack through the 1.5-kilometre swim in Lake Ontario, the 40-kilometre bike that blasted past many of Toronto’s key landmarks and the 10-kilometre run where he pulled away from the field to post a winning time of 1:48:26.
Jones and Alexander Hinton, of Kingston, Ont., controlled the pace while marching shoulder-to-shoulder through each of the three legs until Hinton was forced to serve a penalty during the run allowing Jones, a 2012 Olympian – to run to gold in the unofficial test event for the 2015 Pan Am Games that will take place in exactly one years time in Toronto.
Hinton settled for the silver medal at 1:48:35. Jason Wilson, of Barbados, was third at 1:49:36.
Jones will now pack his bags and head off to Glasgow, Scotland for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, July 23 – August 3. The ITU Pan American Cup Race was being held in conjunction with the Toronto Triathlon Festival, which highlighted a weekend of sport and cultural celebrations as Toronto officially launched its one year countdown to hosting the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Complete ITU Pan American Cup Results (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run): www.triathlon.org
Top-Six Men’s Results:
1. Kyle Jones, Oakville, Ont., CAN, 1:48:26; 2. Alexnder Hinton, Kingston, Ont., CAN, 1:48:35; 3. Jason Wilson, BAR, 1:49:36; 4. Gaspar Riveros, CHI, 1:49:55; 5. Alexix Lepage, Quebec, CAN, 1:50:00.
LONDON—It may not have been a podium, but his 15th-place finish was a huge confidence boost that Canada’s Kyle Jones needed as the World Triathlon Series descended on the 2012 Olympic course in London on Saturday.
The 29-year-old Jones was the top Canuck on a course where he made his Olympic debut that starts and finishes in historic Hyde Park, and winds its way past many of London’s most famous landmarks. Jones, of Oakville, Ont., clocked a time of 50 minutes 20 seconds in the sprint race distance.
“I’m very happy with my finish today and I think it was important for me to get a result like that under my belt,” said Jones, who was recently named to Canada’s 2014 Commonwealth Games Team. “Yokohama (earlier this month) was a serious wake up call for me that I needed to back off and get some rest. Not so much over training rather than under recovered. This was a good step in the right direction today.”
Jones had a solid 750-metre swim storming out of the Serpentine in the middle of the pack to set himself up for a four-lap 20-kilomtre bike that tour’s past one of the world’s largest city’s top attractions including Buckingham Palace, Wellington Arch and Constitutional Hill. With the leaders trying to break away mid-way through the bike, Jones sat in the chase group that bridged to form a lead pack in the third lap of the bike to set up a five-kilometre all-out sprint to the wire.
“The swim was rough with 65 guys all fighting for position over a short distance,” said Jones “Initially one group got away on the bike but we had one large pack by 10 kilometres. I sat in and waited for the run which went out very fast.”
“There were about eight-to-10 guys in the lead group, and I was at the front of the second group. I lost a few positions in the final sprint, but otherwise I am happy with the race overall. I’m feeling much better now and excited for the rest of the season.”
Spain’s Mario Mola reeled in the Brownlee brothers on the run to take not only his first World Triathlon Series title, but also became the first athlete outside the Brownlee’s or Javier Gomez to win in nearly two years. Mola clocked a golden time of 49:46.
Richard Murray, of South Africa sprinted to the silver at 49:47, while Portugal’s Joao Pereira grabbed the final spot on the podium after posting a bronze-medal time of 49:49.
Victoria’s Andrew McCartney was the only other Canadian in the race and finished 51st at 52:15.
Meanwhile the two Canadians to suit up for the women’s sprint race finished mid-field in London. Sarah-Anne Brault, of Quebec City, battled into 22nd spot on the pancake flat course. The 24-year-old Brault, who sat fourth overall on the World Triathlon Series standings heading into the race, punched the clock at 56:27.
Calgary’s 21-year-old Ellen Pennock, continued her development into an elite level racer with a 35th-place finish. Pennock, who along with Brault were both also named to Canada’s Commonwealth Games squad, clocked-in at 57:17.
American Gwen Jorgensen won her second straight race after breaking the finish tape with a time of 54:44. Sarah Groff, also of the United States, was second at 55:12, while Australia’s Emma Jackson celebrated the bronze medal with a time of 55:19.
The fifth stage of the eight-race World Triathlon Series, which culminates with the Grand Final in Edmonton August 26 – September 1, now travels to North America for a race in Chicago June 27-29.
Complete World Triathlon Series Results (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run): www.triathlon.org
Top-Five Men’s and Canadian Results:
1. Mario Mola, ESP, 49:46; 2. Richard Murray, RSA, 49:47; 3. Joao Pereira, POR, 49:49; 4. Alistair Brownlee, GBR, 49:52; 5. Jonathan Brownlee, GBR, 49:58
15. Kyle Jones, Oakville, Ont., 50:20; 51. Andrew McCartney, Victoria, 52:15
Ottawa – A group of six Canadian athletes are hungry to deliver a knockout punch when they step onto the starting pontoon for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, July 23 – August 3, 2014.
A team of three women and three men – five who have won World Championship and World Cup medals and one with Olympic experience – will showcase a new era for triathlon in Canada when they wear the country’s red and white race suits while swimming, biking and running in Strathclyde Country Park on the southeastern edge of Glasgow for the triathlon events this summer.
“The Commonwealth Games will be a coming out party of sorts for this very young, yet talented, group of athletes that have made huge progress, and demonstrated over the last few years they can perform under some of the most intense conditions,” said Libby Burrell, high-performance director, Triathlon Canada. “As a team, we have been focused on making steady progress while advancing many of these dedicated individuals from the development to elite level racing.”
“This will be the first multi-sport Games competition for many of these athletes so it will be a major benchmark for Triathlon Canada to evaluate the athletes’ progress on the road to Rio 2016,” said Chantal Petitclerc, Chef de Mission of the Canadian Team. “This is a confident group of energetic Canadians dedicated to excellence. They have all had a great deal of success at the development level, and are now ready to take on many of the world’s best in Scotland. I look forward to cheering them on in Glasgow, and welcome them to the 2014 Canadian Team!”
Athletes nominated by Triathlon Canada to Team Canada for the 2014 Commonwealth Games are:
Kirsten Sweetland (Victoria) – Considered a medal contender in Scotland thanks to her two, top-10 results on the World triathlon Series over the last year including career-best sixth, and seventh-place finishes. At just 25 years old, Sweetland is the veteran of the Canadian women, and has climbed onto the podium at nearly every level of the sport including World Cup and Under-23 and Junior World Championships.
Sarah-Anne Brault (Winnipeg) – Now living in Quebec, Sarah-Anne earned her spot on the Commonwealth Games squad with two impressive top-10 finishes of her own on the World Triathlon Series this year that have propelled her to fourth overall in the official World Triathlon Series rankings. The 24 year old narrowly missed the podium at the season-opener in Auckland, New Zealand where she was fourth. Brault was mixing it up with the greatest names in the sport again this month in Yokohama, Japan where she was seventh.
Ellen Pennock (Calgary) – One of the most promising athletes in the sport, the dynamic 21 year old locked up her spot after finishing second at the Under-23 World Championships last year. She backed that performance up with a fourth-place finish in a high-quality World Cup field in Mooloolaba, Australia this spring.
Kyle Jones (Oakville, Ont.) – The lone Olympian to make the Canadian Triathlon Commonwealth Games Team, Jones will headline the men’s squad. The 29 year old secured his spot after finishing as the top Canadian at the Grand Final of the 2013 World Triathlon Series in London where he was 19th. Jones’ best result this year was an eighth-place finish at the World Cup in New Plymouth, New Zealand.
Andrew Yorke (Caledon, Ont) – Yorke put down his career-best 15th-place finish at the World Triathlon Series in Yokohama, Japan to secure his ticket to Scotland. An alternate on Canada’s 2012 Olympic Team, the 25 year old has steadily been climbing his way up the international rankings.
Matthew Sharpe (Victoria) – In an effort to provide Jones and Yorke the best opportunity to climb onto the podium, Triathlon Canada are exercising a team-concept strategy by naming Matthew Sharpe to the final spot on the men’s team. A strong swimmer and cyclist, the 22-year-old Sharpe will work the pack to support Canada’s top-two medal contenders. The bold approach is not new for Triathlon Canada as the organization implemented at similar strategy for the 2008 Olympic Summer Games when Colin Jenkins helped propel Simon Whitfield to a silver medal in Beijing.
“Congratulations to the Canadian triathletes who, today, join our team for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “We are anxious to see you go up against the best athletes in your discipline, achieve great things, and demonstrate your skills and determination to the world.”
The Commonwealth Games individual triathlon races will take place on July 24. The team relay will take centre stage on July 26.
A team of 265 athletes and close to 100 coaches and support staff will be in Glasgow, Canada’s largest Team ever fielded for a non-home Games. The entire Canadian Team, as well as the team’s flag bearer, will be officially announced by Commonwealth Games Canada in July 2014.
The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be held from July 23rd to August 3rd, 2014, and will be the largest ever multi-sport event held on Scottish soil.