CHICAGO–Canadian triathlon rookie Tyler Mislawchuk had one thing on his mind when lining up to start his first elite World Triathlon Grand Final. Get a top-eight Olympic qualifier result.
The 20-year-old Mislawchuk put it all on the line with the top dogs in the sport, and was in the hunt to achieve his goal until midway through the run where he bonked, dropping him back into 21st place with a time of 1:47:17.
“My attitude was to get that top-eight and went for broke today,” said Mislawchuk, whose best finish in his first season as an elite was 10th in London. “I went with the big boys and I just didn’t have the legs to stay with them.”
The Oak Bluff, Man. resident had a top-15 swim in the waters of Lake Michigan and stayed in a lead pack of 25 athletes for the majority of the 40-kilometre bike course loaded with hairpin turns and straightaways across Chicago’s picturesque waterfront. The lead pack evolved into 60 athletes just prior to the second transition where the world’s best hit the pavement for a foot race to be crowned the king of men’s triathlon.
Mislawchuk ran in the top-12 until the third lap when he was forced to back off the pace.
“I took a risk but I just didn’t have it. I have no regrets. I went for it and that is my race style. I’m pretty disappointed but that’s racing. You just aren’t going to have it everyday,” added Mislawchuk.
Canada’s Andrew Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., along with Kyle Jones, of Oakville, Ont., entered transition two in the back of the pack of 60. Yorke was able to fight for a top-30 spot, placing 29th at 1:47:17. Jones pulled out of the race on the third lap of the run.
It was two Spaniards, Javier Gomez and Mario Mola, who quickly surged ahead of the pack to fight it out for the gold medal while cruising past Chicago’s famous landmarks throughout the 10-kilometre run.
Jostling back forth throughout each of the four laps, it was Mola who finally dropped the legendary Gomez before heading into the stadium for the final time to take the title of World Triathlon Champion with a time of 1:44:53. Gomez pumped his fist while crossing the line to take the silver medal with a time of 1:44:57. Richard Murray, of South Africa, won the race for the bronze after stopping the clock at 1:44:35.
(1500-metre swim, 40-kilometre bike, 10-kilometre run)
Top-Five Men and Canadian Results:
1. Mario Mola, ESP, 1:44:53; 2. Javier Gomez, ESP, 1:44:57; 3. Richard Murray, RSA, 1:44:35; 4. Crisanto Grajales, MEX, 1:45:40; 5. Vincent Luis, FRA, 1:45:44
21. Tyler Mislawchuk, Oak Bluff, Man., 1:46:43; 29. Andrew Yorke, Caledon, Ont., 1:47:17; DNF. Kyle Jones, Oakville, Ont.