TORONTO—Christmas arrived early for a talented group of Canadian triathletes that received news they have been named to Triathlon Canada’s national squad for the highly anticipated Olympic season, the governing body for the sport announced on Thursday.
Triathlon Canada unveiled a stellar lineup of 16 athletes replete with veteran leadership and podium potential that will don the maple leaf at the World Triathlon Series and other major international events around the globe for the 2012 season.
“We have assembled a unique and experienced group of athletes that have made huge progress, and have demonstrated the ability to contend with the best athletes in our sport,” said Alan Trivett, executive director, Triathlon Canada. “We have a strong pack of six medal-winning athletes who will be fighting for spots on Canada’s Olympic Team, while also being counted on to lead a talented contingent of Canadian triathletes that represent the future of our sport.”
Two-time Olympic medallist, Simon Whitfield of Victoria, along with five-time World Triathlon Series winner, Paula Findlay of Edmonton, will lead the charge for the Canucks on the Team Teck squad. Whitfield found his top stride at the conclusion of the 2011 season with a 13th-place finish at the World Championships, followed by a fourth-place finish in Yokohama, Japan. Findlay racked up three straight World Triathlon Series victories before battling through an injury for the remainder of the season.
Triathlon Canada’s elite team will also include Victoria’s Brent McMahon and Kyle Jones of Oakville, Ont., on the men’s side, while 2008 Olympians, Montreal’s Kathy Tremblay and Lauren Campbell, of North Vancouver, will round out the women’s group.
McMahon and Jones both enjoyed a strong 2011 campaign. Jones won his first ITU race after rattling off three straight victories on the Continental Cup Series in Asia, and was fourth at the Pan American Games. McMahon made a miraculous comeback to the sport after taking 18 months off with an injury where he finished third in each of Jones’ victories before going on to win the bronze medal at the Pan American Games. After a solid outing at the World Championships, Tremblay posted a fifth-place result at the Pan American Games.
“This istruly one of the most talented teams in our sport’s history heading into an Olympic year, which is a testament to the continued strength and growth of our national program,” said Trivett. “Through the generous support and leadership of Own the Podium, along with our corporate partner Teck, we can now deliver the world-leading resources our athletes need to gain a competitive advantage, and better prepare to reach our goal of regularly competing for the podium with the leading nations in our sport.”
The future looks equally bright for grueling endurance sport in Canada with the naming of 10 athletes that bring tremendous international success and experience to the Development Team. The athletes include:
Alexander Hinton, Kingston, Ont. – Under-23 World Championship Team Member
Andrew Yorke, Caledon, Ont. – Finished 13th at Under-23 World Championships
Matt Sharpe, Victoria – Pan American Cup Winner, Under-23 World Championship Team Member
Alison Hooper, Victoria – Two-Time Junior World Championship Team Member (eighth in 2011)
Alexandra Coates, Calgary – Finished 10th at Under-23 World Championships
Christine Ridenour, Cowichan Bay, B.C. – Finished Ninth at Junior World Championships
Ellen Pennock, Calgary – Finished 15th at Junior World Championships
Joanna Brown, Carp, Ont. – Finished Sixth at 2011 Junior World Championships, Won Bronze in 2010
Kyla Coates, Calgary – Finished 12th at Under-23 World Championships
Sarah-Anne Brault, Winnipeg – 2011 Canadian Champion
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com on the Internet.