Jamnicky and Brown crack top-15 in U23 women’s race, Canadian elite girls in tough at Grand Final
CHICAGO—Emily Wagner was the next Calgary-based triathlete to step up and post the top result of the day for the Canadians at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Chicago when she finished seventh in the junior women’s race on Friday.
Competing in her first World Championship event, the 17-year-old Wagner was solid from start-to-finish against the next generation of elite triathletes, clocking a time of 59:38.
“This is my first time at Worlds so I had very little expectations coming into the race,” said Wagner. “The swim was quite rough and I wasn’t used to that but it was good, and we worked well together on the bike. To be in the top-eight at World Championships is really good for me.”
The relative newcomer to the sport who competes domestically on the Triathlon Canada Junior Series came out of the 750-metre swim in Lake Michigan in fourth spot where she settled into a chase pack of 14 girls that were hunting down the eventual gold and silver medallists. Wagner dodged a crash in the second lap, which dropped the chase group to four athletes – a place she stayed until second transition on the run. The pack quickly stretched out in the first of two laps on the five-kilometre run, and Wagner hung on to the seventh spot.
Emy Legault, of Ile Perrot, Que., was in that pack of 14, but unfortunately was part of the crash dropping her well back into 30th position with a time of 1:02:35. Winnipeg’s 16-year-old Kyla Roy was steady in her first trip to Worlds, placing 18th at 1:00:42.
Germany’s Laura Lindemann handily won the junior women’s race with a time of 57:28. American Taylor Knibb celebrated the silver medal with a time of 58:14, while Norway’s Lotte Miller was thrilled with her bronze-medal finish after punching the clock at 58:39.
Dominika Jamnicky and Joanna Brown Crack Top-15 in Under-23 Race
Coming off a 15h-place finish at the WTS race in Edmonton two weeks ago, 22-year-old Dominika Jamnicky was the top Canadian in the women’s under-23 World Championship race on Friday that was changed to a sprint race due to inclement weather.
A deep water start for the 750-metre wetsuit swim, the Port Hope, Ont. native was part of a chase pack of four athletes including teammate and friend, Joanna Brown from Carp, Ont. With Brown driving the pace, the Canadian duo bridged to the lead group on the third of four laps on the 20-kilometre bike. The Canadians settled in, but when foot hit pavement didn’t have the final gear to challenge for the podium. Jamnicky placed 12th at 1:05:56.
“I’m not very good going out hard. I went on the bike today and was completely gassed. If it hadn’t been for Jo sweeping by I don’t think I ever would have been able to bridge to the lead pack so I have my teammate to thank,” said Jamnicky. “On the run I just kept thinking easy-fast. I knew if I went at that pace it would have went sideways – or even backwards.”
Brown finished two spots behind her fellow Canadian in 14th with a time of 1:06:30.
“It wasn’t what we imagined with them having to change it to a sprint race, but we made the best of it,” added Brown. “We both wanted Olympic distance. It was fast and non-stop from the gun and stayed fast.”
Two athletes from France, Audrey Merle and Leonie Periault, were matching stride-for-stride down the finishing chute in a sprint finish. Merle won the photo finish with both of them clocked at 1:04:35. With Periault taking the silver, it was Portugal’s Melanie Santos winning the race for the bronze with a time of 1:04:46.
Tough Day for Canadian Women in Elite Race
With all three Canadian women either nursing or recovering from injuries heading into the elite Grand Final race Friday afternoon, it turned out to be a difficult day for the red and white.
Competing in her first race since suffering a stress fracture to her femur, Amelie Kretz, of Blainville, Que., had a solid 1.5-kilometre swim and 40-kilometre bike where she was solidly placed in the lead pack of 25 athletes. But her race fitness wasn’t there when the fastest triathlon women in the world charged out for the 10-kilometre run. Kretz finished 54th at 2:04:19.
Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland and Quebec City’s Sarah-Anne Brault both pulled out of the race early in the bike.
American Gwen Jorgensen stormed to her second-straight World Championship title and 13th straight win in the women’s elite race, posting a time of 1:55:36 in front of her hometown crowd.
Jorgensen raced with Great Britain’s Non Stanford and Vicky Holland until the final lap of the run when she turned on the jets and bolted to the top of the podium. Stanford hung on for the silver medal with a time of 1:56:05. Holland claimed the bronze at 1:56:20.