(ISN) – GOLD COAST, Aus.—Canada’s Amelie Kretz completed her first career World Triathlon Series race with an impressive 13th-place result at Australia’s spectacular Gold Coast on Saturday.
The talented 21-year-old Kretz bounced back after a disappointing crash in her first WTS start two weeks ago in New Zealand with a solid performance from the 1.5-kilometre swim through to the completion of the 10-kilometre run. Kretz, of Blainville, Que., clocked-in at 2:00:19.
“It is a good start of my WTS career. I wasn’t nervous heading into the race. My success in the early races this year gave me the confidence to be relaxed and know I was here to execute a strong race from start-to-finish.,” said Kretz, who captured her second career World Cup medal earlier this spring in Mooloolaba, Australia. She also won a World Cup race in Edmonton two years ago.
Coming out of the swim with the leaders, Kretz got caught behind a crash on the first lap of the bike and was never able to reconnect with the front group. The rising star then worked her way into the chase pack with fellow Canadians – Sarah-Anne Brault (Quebec City) and Paula Findlay (Edmonton) for each of the remaining eight laps on the highly-technical five-kilometre bike course that featured tight turns, hills and quick descents. Nearly 30 seconds behind the lead group of eight at the mid-way point of the bike, the chasers dropped to one minute, four seconds off the lead pace by second transition.
“I was really disappointed. I made sure I was well positioned and ready to go if the trial wanted to attack,” said Kretz. “The group was working well until mid way and then slowed down and nobody wanted to do the work. The rest of the bike was pretty easy and felt smooth.
“I got off the bike and my legs felt pretty good. I got into a rhythm quickly and tried to stay relaxed. I forgot how much an Olympic distance hurt! On the last lap I was starting to die but found an extra gear and caught some girls to finish 13th. I’m happy with my first WTS finish and looking forward to the next one!”
Brault took her turn at the front of the chase pack on the bike, but dropped back in the field on the run. Brault finished 28th at 2:01:57. Findlay did not finish the race.
Australia’s Gold Coast has witnessed plenty of triathlon history, and the star-studded cast of triathletes added another chapter on Saturday as the American women became just the second nation ever to sweep a World Triathlon Series podium.
Gwen Jorgensen put together a perfect swim, perfect run and perfect bike to go on and win her eighth consecutive race, and 11th career title, as the International Triathlon Union celebrated the 50th World Triathlon Series race. The only blemish on the day was a 15 second penalty sustained for an infringement in transition two. But the American was unfazed. Serving the penalty on the second of four laps on the run course, Jorgensen still won by well over one minute after posting a golden time of 1:56:59.
Sarah True was the next best finisher with a time of 1:58:17, while Katie Zaferes completed the sweep for the stars and stripes after running to a third-place time of 1:58:35.
The women’s race left the No. 1 spot open as a tribute to the remarkable Jackie Fairweather, who passed away in November of 2014. The number-one ranked golden bike rack was also left open in transition to remember Fairweather and her great contributions to the sport of triathlon. Fairweather was an ITU World Champion, Hall of Fame nominee, board member, high performance manager, coach & event commentator. She was also an accomplished runner, having won bronze at the Commonwealth Games for Australia in 2002.
Meanwhile, another rising Canadian star on the men’s side of the draw, Tyler Mislawchuk, had an impressive outing in Australia. The 20-year-old WTS rookie from Oak Bluff, Man. cranked out a career-best 18th-place finish against the world’s best after posting a time of 1:49:13.
Alexis Lepage, of Gatineau, Que. did not finish the race.
Jonathan Brownlee, of Great Britain, smashed the field to win his 10th career WTS title. Brownlee ran to the top of the podium for the second-straight race with a time of 1:46:53.
Spanish athletes grabbed the final two spots on the men’s podium. Mario Mola won the silver with a time of 1:47:11, while Javier Gomez settled for the bronze at 1:47:21.
The World Triathlon Series now heads to Cape Town, South Africa, April 25-26. Live coverage of each race is available at www.triathlonlive.tv.
Top-Five Women’s Results:
1. Gwen Jorgensen, USA, 1:56:59; 2. Sarah True, USA, 1:58:17; 3. Katie Zaferes, USA, 1:58:35; 4. Andrea Hewitt, NZL, 1:59:00; 5. Flora Duffy, BER, 1:59:05
13. Amelie Kretz, Blainville, Que., 2:00:19; 28. Sarah-Anne Brault, Quebec City, 2:01:57; DNF. Paula Findlay, Edmonton.
Top-Five Men’s Results:
1. Jonathan Brownlee, GBR, 1:46:53; 2. Mario Mola, ESP, 1:47:11; 3. Javier Gomez, ESP, 1:47:21; 4. Vicente Hernandez, ESP, 1:47:26; 5. Richard Murray, RSA, 1:47:45
18. Tyler Mislawchuk, Oak Bluff, Man., 1:49:13; DNF. Alexis Lepage, Gatineau, Que.