Alberta’s Emily Wagner and Quebec’s Xavier Grenier-Talavera crowned triathlon champions at Canada Summer Games

triathlon canada

Chris Dornan

August 14, 2013, SHERBROOKE, Que (ISN)  – Alberta’s Emily Wagner and Quebec’s Xavier Grenier-Talavera grabbed the individual women’s and men’s triathlon titles at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbrooke, Que. on Tuesday.

A rare multi-sport athlete at the Canada Summer Games, Calgary’s 15-year-old Emily Wagner won her second medal of the Games, and first gold, after winning the women’s triathlon race with a time of 1:03:10. The Albertan was part of the bronze-medal winning 4×100 women’s relay swim team last week where she swam the breaststroke leg.

“This is my first year doing triathlons so I didn’t know what to expect, but it feels great to win,” said Wagner. “I just put together a really solid race, and everything came together for me.”

It certainly did. Taking advantage of warm, and ideal race conditions, Wagner demonstrated her strength in the water of Lac Magog where she was with the lead group in the 750-metre swim. Focused on staying with the leaders on the three-lap 20-kilometre bike course, it was coming out of second transition where the young Albertan knew she had a shot at the gold.

“I was a little tired coming into the race after competing in swimming last week, but I knew I had to stay with that lead pack on the bike,” said Wagner. “When I was able to stay at the front of the bike, I knew I could take the gold on the run.”

Wagner dropped the field in the two-lap, five-kilometre run where she bolted to the finish line for her first major title in the sport.

Two recently named members of Canada’s Junior World Championship Team that will head to London in September grabbed the final two spots on the women’s podium. Quebec’s Emy Legault was the next best finisher, 17 seconds off the leading pace, at 1:03:27. Saskatoon’s Gabrielle Edwards won the fight for the bronze medal after clocking-in at 1:03:58.

Two more members of Canada’s Junior World Championship squad, Xavier-Grenier Talavera and Tyler Mislawchuk, battled it out for the men’s crown.

While a planned breakaway heading into the race did not pan out, the top-two Canucks nestled themselves in a large pack with the next generation of elite Canadian triathletes for the 750-metre swim, and 20-kilometre ride on the shores of Lac Magog.

With a number of the lead athletes taking penalties, the door was open in the five kilometre run for the top-two Canucks. Quebec’s Grenier-Talavera jumped into the spotlight and ran away from the field in the final lap of the run, posting a winning time of 55:13.

“It feels great. It is just unbelievable for me,” said the newly crowned champion. “We really wanted to do a breakaway to eliminate some of the good runners, but the pack was just too big. I just went out as fast as I could out of second transition and got my first win of the year. This is a huge confidence booster for me heading into World Championships.”

Winnipeg’s Mislawchuk settled for second spot at 55:26. Nova Scotia’s Conor Gillespie-Friesen locked up the bronze medal with a time of 55:35.

The triathlon events continue on Friday at the Canada Summer Games with the men’s and women’s relays. The rising young stars will round up the action at the triathlon venue with the mixed relay on Saturday.

Top-Five Women’s Results:

1. Emily Wagner, Alberta, 1:03:10; 2. Emy Legault, Quebec, 1:03:27; 3. Gabrielle Edwards, Saskatchewan, 1:03:58; 4. Kirsten Vergara, Ontario, 1:04:03; 5. Sam Klus, Ontario, 1:04:24.

Top-Five Men’s Results:

1. Xavier Grenier-Talavera, Quebec, 55:13; 2. Tyler Mislawchuk, Manitoba, 55:26; 3. Conor Gillespie-Friesen, Nova Scotia, 55:35; 4. Myles Zagar, Manitoba, 56:04; 5. Robert Bigsby, Saskatchewan, 56:15.