TORONTO—On the eve of arriving into Edmonton for the penultimate race on the 2015 World Triathlon Series, Triathlon Canada named a group of 23 Canadian triathletes who will be putting the finishing touches on their preparations for the World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago, September 16-20.
A group of three women and two men registered for the elite races will include a combination of veterans with Olympic, Pan American Games and Commonwealth Games experience, along with rookies loaded with potential.
A determined group of four women, who have all won medals on the World Triathlon Series or World Cup throughout their careers, will lead the way for the Canucks.
Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland, who has been forced to sit out most of the season with a bacteria infection will lead the Canadian charge. Using Edmonton as a final tune-up race for the Grand Final, the 26-year-old Sweetland will be looking to find the elite form from last year that saw her become just the third Canadian ever to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games when she captured the silver. The historic performance came just weeks after she became the second Canadian ever to step onto the World Triathlon Series podium with a bronze medal in Hamburg, Germany.
“I am very excited for the next month of racing. I think Edmonton will be great preparation for the Grand Final in Chicago,” said Sweetland. “With less than 2 weeks between the events it works great to have a sprint distance race, and then recover and get ready to go again! I’ve been steadily improving with my health and fitness so I’m excited to use Edmonton to gauge where I’m at leading into Chicago.”
Sweetland will be in good company with her Canadian mates on the women’s start line in Chicago. Olympian and five-time World Triathlon Series winner Paula Findlay (Edmonton) will also suit up for the final two races of the season. Two World Cup medallists, Quebec City’s 25-year-old Sarah-Anne Brault and Amelie Kretz (Blainville, Que.) will focus on preparing for the Grand Final over the next two weeks. The 22-year-old Kretz captured her second World Cup medal earlier this year at the prestigious World Cup in Mooloolaba, Australia in addition to finishing a career-best ninth on the World Triathlon Series in July before sustaining a stress fracture which kept her on the sidelines at the Pan American Games.
“After a disappointing mid season, where I missed out on a couple races because of injury, I am really happy to be back healthy and get the opportunity to race the Grand Final in Chicago,” said Kretz. “I had a strong start to the season and I am looking forward to finishing the year on a positive note too. It’s an honour to be representing Canada at that level. It will be my fourth World Championships, but my first one at the senior level so I’m really excited to race!”
Canada is guaranteed to send two men to the elite start line. Andrew Yorke, 26, (Caledon, Ont.) and 20-year-old rising star, Tyler Mislawchuk (Oak Bluff, Man.) who both competed at the Pan American Games will be looking to build on a stong summer. Yorke, who placed fourth at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, was the nation’s top performer at Toronto 2015 with a solid seventh-place result. Mislawchuk has been the top performer in the men’s program this year with a career-best 10th-place finish on the World Triathlon Series.
“It’s going to be great to have a tune up race on a course that I know with the support of a hometown Canadian crowd. Racing in Canada is such a privilege and to have the opportunity to race at home race two weeks before World Champs is a great opportunity,” said Yorke.
The following is a list of Canadians who will compete in each of the high-performance races in Chicago:
ITU WORLD TRIATHLON SERIES GRAND FINAL
Elite Women Elite Men
Kirsten Sweetland (Victoria) Andrew Yorke (Caledon, Ont.)
Sarah-Anne Brault (Quebec City) Tyler Mislawchuk (Oak Bluff, Man.)
Amelie Kretz (Blainville, Que.)
Paul Findlay (Edmonton)
ITU PARATRIATHLON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Elite Women Elite Men
Christine Robbins/Sasha Boulton (Ottawa) Stefan Daniel (Calgary)
Chantal Givens (Winnipeg)
ITU UNDER-23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Joanna Brown (Carp, Ont.) Alexis Lepage (Quebec City)
Dominika Jamnicky (Guelph, Ont.) Taylor Forbes (Dundas, Ont.)
Russell Pennock (Calgary)
Austin Forbes (Dundas, Ont.)
Xavier Grenier-Talavera (Vaudreuil, Que.)
ITU JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Emily Wagner (Calgary) Oliver Blecher (Port Hope, Ont.)
Emy Legault, (Ile Perrot, Que.) Charles Pacquet (Port Cartier, Que.)
Kyla Roy (Winnipeg) Michael Milic (Delta, B.C.)
“This is a very young, yet talented, group of athletes that have made huge progress, and demonstrated over the last few years they can perform under some of the most intense conditions,” said Libby Burrell, high-performance director, Triathlon Canada. “As a team, we have been focused on making steady progress while advancing many of these dedicated individuals through the development system into elite athletes. This next generation of athletes is coming fast and furiously and are really strong across the board. I’m excited to see how they respond while testing themselves at the highest level.”