—Kyla Roy wins gold, Emy Legault and Charles Pacquet run to silver-
EDMONTON—The future looks bright for the Canadian triathlon program as three young Canucks, who will all compete at the World Championships in just two weeks, put the maple leaf on the podium at the CAMTRI Pan American Cup junior triathlon race on a cold Saturday morning in Edmonton.
Winnipeg’s Kyla Roy and Emy Legault, of Ile Perrot, Que., finished one-two in the junior women’s race, while Charles Pacquet, of Port Cartier, Que., completed the medal hat trick for Canada adding a silver of his own in the junior men’s competition.
The 16-year-old Roy celebrated her first international victory after clocking a time of 1:01:39 in the sprint race. Roy medalled in each of the four races on the Triathlon Canada Junior Series this summer. In addition to winning Saturday, Roy was crowned the Junior Women’s National Champion, and also captured a silver and bronze medal in the other two stops on the premiere junior triathlon circuit in the country.
“It feels absolutely great. It is so exciting and such a huge confidence booster heading into World Championships,” said Roy, whose only other international start came earlier this summer in Monterrey, Mexico. “Coming into the race I knew there was a lot of fast girls from around the world, but I had no idea where I would stand and what was going to happen.”
The pint-sized Roy came out of the frigid 750-metre swim in Hawrelak Park five seconds back of the pack. After a quick transition, Roy worked together with three other girls to quickly bridge the gap on the leaders where she settled in for the 20-kilometre bike course along Edmonton’s picturesque river valley – setting the race up to be decided on the run. After dismounting her bike, Roy ran shoulder-to-shoulder with Canadian comrade, Emy Legault, and American Kyleigh Spearing for the five-kilometre dash.
“Those two girls were so strong and kept pushing the pace. It came down to the final 400 metres when I decided to go and it paid off. I’m very happy,” said Roy while draped in a heated blanket after crossing the finish line.
When the dust finally settled, Legault won the race for the silver medal with a time of 1:01:45. Spearing settled for third at 1:01:48. Calgary’s Emily Wagner, who will round out the Canadian women’s squad for the World Championship race, struggled with cold hands to undo the chinstrap on her helmet before heading onto the run. Wagner posted one of the fastest run splits of the day to secure fourth place with a time of 1:02:14.
As the sun broke through over Edmonton, 55 of the top junior men’s triathletes in the world dove into the pond at Hawrelak Park for the wetsuit swim.
A string of athletes came out of the water together. Canada’s Brennen Smith formed a group of three with an Aussie and Kiwi athlete off the front of the pack for the first lap of the bike, which quickly formed into a large group for the final three laps.
But when foot hit pavement, it was 18-year-old Charles Pacquet that took control of Canada’s medal hopes. Sitting in the top-10, the determined Quebecer charged out of second transition for the five-kilometre run where he quickly picked athletes off one-by-one.
Shortly after exiting the stadium area Pacquet settled in with Australia’s Matthew Hauser and Tayler Reid, of New Zealand, for the duration of the run. The big three ran together until the final 500-metres where Hauser made a golden break. Pacquet then dropped Reid, and went on to clock a silver medal time of 54:05.2.
“It was a very hard swim. The water was cold and I didn’t feel good. I was able to catch up on the bike, and then after that I knew it was going to come down to the run where I was comfortable,” said Pacquet, who will also race for Canada at the World Championships in two weeks time. “I hammered it right away (out of second transition). I had a really good run. I have been working on my finish kick so I knew with 500 metres to go, I was good. I just tried to kick it as hard as I could.”
Hauser pumped his fist while breaking the finish tape with a time of 53:52.6. Reid posted a bronze-medal time of 54:09.8.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000 and Paralympic medal sport as of 2016, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com on the Internet.
Complete Junior Race Results (750-metre swim, 20 kilometre bike, 5 kilometre run): www.triathlon.org
Top-Five Women’s Results:
1. Kyla Roy, Winnipeg, CAN, 1:01:39; 2. Emy Legault, Ile Perrot, Que., CAN, 1:01:45; 3. Kyleigh Spearing, USA, 1:01:48; 4. Emily Wagner, Calgary, CAN, 1:02:14; 5. Jaimee Leader, NZL, 1:02:57
Top-Five Men’s Results:
1. Matthew Hauser, AUS, 53:52.6; 2. Charles Pacquet, Port Cartier, Que., 54:05.2; 3. Tayler Reid, NZL, 54:09.8; 4. Austin Hindman, USA, 54:13.6; 5. Luke William, AUS, 54:29.2.