Aug 23,2014(ISN) – STOCKHOLM, SWE—Kirsten Sweetland is on a roll as she leads the top triathletes on
the planet into Edmonton for the 2014 TransCanada Corp Triathlon World Championships
The Victoria resident finished just off the podium in fourth spot at the penultimate
stage of the eight-race World Triathlon Series in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday.
Sweetland clocked a time of one hour, three minutes, 10 seconds in the sprint race.
“I really can’t believe I pulled off a fourth place today,” said Sweetland, who is
ranked sixth in the world. “Obviously after Commonwealth Games and Hamburg I was
gunning for a podium today, but I got a little cold on Tuesday. Not good timing at
Sweetland put together all three disciplines starting with a solid 750-metre swim on
chilly and rainy day in Stockholm. A machine on the bike all year, the 25 year old
charged into her office near the front of pack for the 20-kilometre ride before
mixing it up with a group of five for the five-kilometre run. Sweetland was destined
for her third straight international podium, but was unable to respond to the final
kick on the blue carpet to the finish line, and settled for fourth.
“I came here just trying to collect some points before Edmonton, and with catching a
cold, I just really can’t believe I was able to do this today. I am happy with it
American Sarah Groff broke through to capture her first career World Triathlon
Series victory after crossing the line first with a time of 1:03:00. Andrea Hewitt,
of New Zealand, was second at 1:03:04, while fellow Kiwi, Nicky Samuels, edged out
Sweetland in the race for the bronze after stopping the clock at 1:03:05.
It has been a dream season for Sweetland. With her career in jeopardy after battling
a series of injuries over the last six years, the tiny Canuck has put on a clinic in
resiliency by climbing her way back up to the top of the World Triathlon Series
podium with the world’s best. One of the most consistent athletes on the circuit,
Sweetland captured her first WTS medal when she was third in Hamburg. Two weeks
later she became the third Canadian ever to win a medal at Commonwealth Games when
she ran to the silver.
Next stop is Edmonton for the Grand Final.
“My goal this year was to peak at the Commonwealth Games and Edmonton, and I’m just
hoping this little illness won’t put too much of a wrinkle into that plan,” said
Sweetland at the finish line in Stockholm. “The goal is to recover quickly. I’m
going to get to Edmonton tomorrow and get into that zone.
“It will be a first for me to race World Championships at home. I remember racing
our World Cups there in 2007 when they were the pinnacle races. I was up near the
front for most of the day, and it was such an unreal experience with everyone
screaming my name so I’m hoping it will be like that again.”
Canada’s triathletes will begin to arrive into Edmonton on Sunday. Details of
airport and training media opportunities will be released later today.