(ISN) – WOLLONGONG, Aus.—The Maple Leaf waved proudly above the Oceania Cup podium on Sunday, as three Canadians finished in the top-three in the men’s and women’s sprint races.
In the women’s sprint, it was Amelie Kretz who led the field, crossing the finish line in one hour and 37 seconds. Teammate Sarah-Anne Brault, who has spent the last two winters living a block away from the Wollongong course, was less than a minute behind her, to bring home the silver in a one-two finish for Canada.
“It was a great re-introduction to fast and furious ITU racing after a fall and winter of rehabbing injuries and working on my weaknesses,” said Brault, who pulled out of the WTS Championships in Edmonton last August after the swim due to a foot injury. “I’m a little bit disappointed in my swim, as I don’t think today reflected my potential. But after a bit of frantic chasing on the bike, I was back to where I wanted to be, and it was pretty straightforward from then on. [Amelie and I] rolled well together to put some time on the chase pack, and the positions on the run did not change once they were established. Amelie had a super quick run, and I was out of contention quite early, but I am very happy with my performance today.”
Hungarian Margit Vanek finished third in 1:02.00.
Men narrowly miss putting two on podium
In the men’s sprint, it was Oak Bluff, Manitoba’s Tyler Mislawchuk who stepped onto the podium for Canada, finishing third with a final time of 55 minutes, 29 seconds. Teammate Matthew Sharpe of Campbell River, B.C., was fourth, crossing the finish in 55:37, and Quebec’s Alexis Lepage posted a time of 56:13 to finish in 13th place.
Australia’s Jacob Birtwhistle (54:58) and German Christopher Hettich (55:21) foiled the Canadians’ attempt at putting two Canucks on the podium, finishing first and second, respectively.