Amelie Kretz Battles to Sixth Spot at Under-23 T W C

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triathlon

Amelie Kretz Battles to Sixth Spot at Under-23 Triathlon World Championships
Tough swim leaves Jones, Yorke in catch-up mode for elite men’s race

Sept 1,2014(ISN) – EDMONTON – In sharp contrast to her win on the Edmonton course last year, Canada’s
Amelie Kretz crossed the finish line in apparent pain in the Under-23 women’s world
championships at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Sunday. Though she admittedly
came here to win, it wasn’t her sixth-place finish that put a pained look on Kretz’
face.

“It’s been a tough season, I’ve been injured all season, and just started my run
training again,” said the Blainville, Que., youngster who completed the course in
2:07:57 – three minutes off the pace. “I had a good swim, and I pushed really hard
on the bike because I knew my form on the run wasn’t there. I had no legs for the
run.”

The 21-year-old Kretz, who trains out of Guelph, Ont, with teammates Joanna Brown
and Dominika Jamnicky, set aside – with difficulty – the day’s disappointment to
focus on the positive.

“Sixth isn’t bad, but I was hoping for more. But after a tough year with injuries,
I’m happy to be here and to finish,” she said, noting her injuries were “feeling
good.”

Teammates and training partners Jamnicky and Brown hit the start line alongside
Kretz, but only Jamnicky was able to finish the race – with Brown dropping out
midway through the bike portion. For Jamnicky, a 16th-place finish (2:12:14) was not
what she was looking for.

“I fought the whole time, but things just didn’t come together today,” said
Australian-born Jamnicky, who moved to Canada in 2005 with her family and is close
to finishing her Masters at Guelph University. “I’m going to give this [triathlon] a
go. I really believe I have a future in the sport, and I’m still young, still
building. I’m tough.”

Germany’s Sophia Saller posted the fasted time at 2:04:52, followed by Gillian
Backhouse of Australia, who finished second in 2:05:25, and American Erin Jones in
third with a time of 2:06:59.

With less than 24 hours before her next race – the mixed relay – Jamnicky was ready
to quickly switch gears and refocus for Monday’s race. “I’ve only done one relay, at
the Canada Summer Games, and I’m really looking forward to having a whole team to
race with.”

Kyle Jones 18th, Andrew Yorke 22nd in exciting elite men’s competition

Olympic Champion Alistair Brownlee ran away with the win, putting a gap that became
unbeatable between him and the top-three triathletes in the world – including
younger brother Jonathan – crossing the finish in 1:48:44 for the win. Spaniards
Mario Mola and overall World Triathlon Season champion Javier Gomez finished second
and third, respectively, in 1:49:04 and 1:49:07.

Gomez’s third-place finished assured him this year’s overall title, while Mola
finished second with 4,601 points, and Jonathan Brownlee slipped to third in the
standings with 4,501 points.

Canadian race entries Kyle Jones and Andrew Yorke struggled with the congestion of
bodies during the 1,500-metre swim, leaving them in catch-up mode for the rest of
the race.

“The swim was so hard; I don’t even know if you can call it swimming. It was so
congested. We’re used to tough swims, but this took it to a whole new level,” said
Yorke, who crossed the line 22nd in 1:51:01. Yorke, who trains out of Guelph, is set
on refocusing in the lead-up to the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro –
which includes competing in the 2015 Pan-Am Games in Toronto. “It’s amazing to be
able to race in Edmonton, but racing in Toronto, it’ll be like [the reception] Paula
[Findlay] got here. For me to have that kind of support will be amazing, and a once
in a lifetime opportunity. [Racing in Canada] is something you don’t often
experience as a North American doing a sport predominantly set in Europe.”

For top Canadian Jones, an 18th-place finish capped off a mixed season of ups and
downs on the field of play, and one tremendous gift outside of sport – the recent
birth of his son, Zack, who made the trip with mom Kelly for dad’s race.

“I came up just off of where I wanted to be. It was a tough season. It certainly had
its highs, but it was tough,” said Jones, who later tweeted that his wife, son, and
parents’ presence at the race made it “extra special” in a thank-you he sent to
supporters. With the end of the season comes time for Jones to spend with his young
family and strategize before heading into next season.

“The depth (of the elite men’s field) is just insane. One day you can be sixth or
seventh, the next day your 16th or 17th. We’re now sprinting to finish in the top
34, with just a few seconds’ difference,” he said.

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