(ISN) – MOOLOOLABA, Aus.—It may not have been a World Triathlon Series or World Cup medal, but for Canada’s Matt Sharpe standing on the silver medal position of the Oceania Cup podium was the greatest moment in his career.
Banged up for the bulk of the last two years, the lanky 23-year-old Canuck let the emotion fly after crossing the finish line in second at the Triathlon Oceania Cup on the historic Mooloolaba course on Sunday.
“I was pretty emotional at the finish. I’ve been either injured or rehabbing since early 2013 and only since last fall have I been able to train uninterrupted. It’s been a long time,” said Sharpe. “I’m grateful for the support from my family, my coach Jamie Turner and my training partners in the Wollongong Wizards squad because there’s no way I’d be here without them.”
The Victoria resident clocked a time of 1:50:52.
“I was expecting a good result today. My training has been strong over the last couple of months and I believed I could win.”
The race started out with a 1.5km surf swim, off the southern end of Mooloolaba beach, followed by an unusual 800m soft sand run, before entering transition that led the pack out onto a 40km out-and-back bike course and the final 10km run.
Organisers moved the swim into the middle of the beach, to the protected southern corner away from the punishing waves that towered 1.5-metres.
“We had a fast swim and onto the bike a group of six of us held off a well- organized chase pack of almost 20 athletes,” added Sharpe. “I had a ton of fatigue going onto the run, but I still wanted to put the pressure on the other athletes and make it mine to lose. I led till about 7km, and an athlete came by me and he was gone.”
With Australia’s Daniel Coleman running away to the gold with a time of 1:50:25, Sharpe played cat and mouse with Joel Tobin White (Australia) over the final two kilometres, but it was the Canadian who won the sprint to the silver medal spot on the podium. Tobin White won the bronze at 1:50:56.
The Triathlon Oceania Cup is a development level race which often welcomes World Cup and World Triathlon Series athletes.
Top-Five Men’s Results:
1. Daniel Coleman, AUS, 1:50:25; 2. Matt Sharpe, Victoria, CAN, 1:50:52; 3. Joel Tobin White, AUS, 1:50:56; 4. Josh Izewski, USA, 1:51:02; 5. Marcel Walkington, AUS, 1:51:19