by Chris Dornan
March 23, 2014, NEW PLYMOUTH, Nzl. (ISN) – Three of Canada’s best triathletes had a solid final tune-up race for the start of the World Triathlon Series with each of them storming into the top-10 at a World Cup in New Plymouth, New Zealand on Sunday.
Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland led the Canadian charge, and narrowly missed the podium with a fifth-place finish. The 25-year-old Victoria resident clocked a time of 58 minutes, two seconds (58:02) in the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike, and five-kilometre run sprint distance race.
“This was another little step up from last week,” said Sweetland, who was seventh at the World Cup opener in Mooloolaba. “There are still some more gears needed though. This five-kilometre (run) business is quick!”
Sweetland and teammate, Paula Findlay, put together a solid swim and bike before the field separated itself on the run. Competing in just her second World Cup race in three years, Edmonton’s Findlay took another step forward in her rebuild from injury to her top form that saw her win five World Triathlon Series races. Findlay, who was 17th last week, was ninth on Sunday with a time of 58:44.
“I’m definitely not satisfied with ninth, but it was a good progression even from a one week ago,” said Findlay. “I had a solid swim and bike, showing that I can still be in the mix with the top girls. I’m in a good position for this time of year and I still have lots of improvement on to make in my run. I’m excited to see what I’m capable of with a consistent and healthy season. I’m so happy to be back racing.”
Katie Hursey, of the United States, won the women’s race with a time of 57:27. Andrea Hewitt, of New Zealand, thrilled the hometown crowd with a silver-medal time of 57:38. Jodie Stimpson, of Great Britain, rounded out the women’s podium in third at 57:39.
Kyle Jones, of Oakville, Ont., also took a step forward in his preparations for the start of the World Triathlon Series. The 29-year-old Jones grabbed eighth spot with a time of 53:13.
“This was a nice progression from last weekend. I feel all is looking well heading into the first race in Auckland in two weeks time,” said Jones. “I’m very happy with the race today.”
Spain’s Mario Mola won for the second straight week after posting a time of 52:30. Javier Gomez, also of Spain, grabbed the silver after stopping the clock at 52:33, while Portugal’s Joao Silva finished third at 52:56.
Victoria’s Andrew McCartney placed 39th at 54:42. Two other Canadians – Victoria’s Matt Sharpe and Winnipeg’s Tyler Mislawchuk, also hit the start line, but did not finish.
The World Triathlon Series begins in Auckland, New Zealand, April 5-6, 2014.
For complete coverage of the New Plymouth World Cup, please visit www.triathlon.org.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000 and Paralympic medal sport as of 2016, 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.
Complete ITU World Cup Results (750m swim, 20km bike, 5km run): www.triathlon.org
Top-Five Women’s Results:
1. Katie Hursey, USA, 57:27; 2. Andrea Hewitt, NZL, 57:38; 3. Jodie Stimpson, GBR, 57:39; 4. Helen Jenkins, GBR, 57:54; 5. Kirsten Sweetland, Victoria, CAN, 58:02
Other Canadian Results:
9. Paula Findlay, Edmonton, 58:44
Top-Five Men’s Results:
1. Mario Mola, ESP, 52:30; 2. Javier Gomez, ESP, 52:33; 3. Joao Silva, POR, 52:56; 4. Fernando Alarza, ESP, 53:03; 5. Brendan Sexton, AUS, 53:08
8. Kyle Jones, Oakville, Ont., 53:13; DNF. Matt Sharpe, Victoria; DNF. Tyler Mislawchuk