April 26 2014 ISN – CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA—Kirsten Sweetland all but officially locked up a spot on
Canada’s Commonwealth Games squad this summer with a solid seventh-place finish in a
World Triathlon Series race in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday.
The Victoria resident, who needed a top-eight qualifier, had one of the best
finishes of her career after rubbing shoulders for nearly two hours with many of the
most powerful women in the sport. The 25 year old clocked a time of one hour, 48
minutes, five seconds (1:48:05).
“I made some good decisions today,” said Sweetland. “I was a little overzealous on
the bike and got a little excited. I think I paid for it on the run, but you know I
was in the mix for my best ever WTS finish and I’m pleased.”
Sweetland came out of the frigid and shortened 750-metre swim in the Cape Town
harbour in the top-10 where she settled into the lead group who wasted little time
pulling ahead of a chase pack. Taking their turns at the front for the 40-kilometre
bike course, it was a 12-woman race when the lead group opened a gap of two minutes
on the field when they hit the second transition for the run.
With the British and American girls turning on the jets for the 10-kilometre run,
Sweetland battled for position in the top-10 and a solid finish.
“I think I was the last one to get on that lead pack which was key,” said Sweetland.
“I have to be pleased. We were a little concerned with the weather today, but when
you are racing everything comes together. Cape Town pulled off the event way better
than we were expecting. It was a great day.”
Sweetland’s best World Triathlon Series finish was a fifth in 2009 before battling a
series of injuries over the last four years. She made a statement to the world that
she was back and hungry to compete with the best one year ago after finishing sixth
on one of the most challenging courses on the planet in Kitzbuhel, Austria.
Jodie Stimpson, of Great Britain, won for the second straight time this year.
Challenged by her teammate, Helen Jenkins, on the run, Stimpson counter-attacked to
clock a golden time of 1:46.11. Gwen Jorgensen, of the United States grabbed the
bronze at 1:46.33.
Fresh off her career-best World Triathlon Series finish at the season opener where
she was fourth, Winnipeg’s Sarah-Anne Brault who now lives in Quebec, was 19th on
Saturday with a time of 1:49:27.
Canada’s Kyle Jones and Andrew McCartney will jump into the harbour on Sunday when
they take on the best men’s triathletes in the world in Cape Town.
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.