—Sarah-Anne Brault leads Canadian women in 22nd spot, Kyle Jones 23rd—
GOLD COAST—With the Olympic qualification process coming to a close, Tyler Mislawchuk is forcing Canadian officials hands to have his name as a frontrunner for consideration to compete in Rio with a solid 11th-place finish at the World Triathlon Series race in Rio on Saturday.
Backing up a career-best 10th-place result at the season-opener last month in Abu Dhabi, the 21-year-old took on the world’s best and extreme conditions to deliver the top Canadian result in 11th with a time of 1:48:17.
“That was another solid day for me here on the Gold Coast,” said Mislawchuk. “The race was hot and hard from the start to the finish. I was able to hang in tough and finish 11th on a day I battled from the gun.”
The Oak Bluff, Man. resident was with the leaders as the world’s best dove into the strong current at the Broadwater Parklands for the 1.5-kilometre swim, and held his spot through the 40-kilometre bike and 10-kilometre run course. Mislawchuk missed another top-10 result by just one second.
“I was feeling pretty off so I started the run conservatively. I’m happy with this result. I’m going to head back to Wollongong with my training group, and prepare for the last race in Yokohama before the Olympic Team is selected,” said Mislawchuk, who also represented Canada at last year’s Pan Am Games in Toronto.
Mario Mola rocked the run to conquer the Gold Coast heat and win his second straight World Triathlon Series start this year, and third victory, after also taking the gold at the Mooloolaba World Cup. The Spaniard clocked a winning time of 1:46:28.
Fernando Alarza, also of Spain, claimed the silver medal with a time of 1:46:55. Great Britain’s Jonathan Brownlee was solid in the bronze medal position, finishing with a time of 1:47:09.
Kyle Jones, of Oakville, Ont., cracked the top-25 to finish as the second best Canadian on the day in the men’s race. The veteran of the Canadian squad ran to 23rd place at 1:49:22.
Xavier Grenier-Talavera, of Vaudreuil, Que., was the only other Canadian to finish the men’s race, placing 44th at 1:54:55. Andrew Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., and Michael Lori, of Tecumseh, Ont., both pulled out after the bike leg.
Quebec City’s Sarah-Anne Brault also finished in the top-25 to lead the Canadian women. Brault clocked a time of 2:00:48 to finish 22nd.
“I was a bit further down in the standings than I would have liked coming out of the swim, but I had a solid race today,” said Brault, who was in the second chase pack on the bike. “I found the bike portion of the race quite hard today as it was very technical with heaps of corners and skinny portions of road that made positioning key.
The run times weren’t very fast because of the heat, but I had a solid steady run, which was much better than my last few races so I was happy about the progression.”
Helen Jenkins, of Great Britain, made a break midway through the bike and never looked back with fierce determination to break Gwen Jorgensen’s 12-race winning streak on the World Triathlon Series. Jenkins hammered the women’s field with a time of 1:56:03.
Jorgensen was forced to settle for second at 1:56:44. Andrea Hewitt, of New Zealand, won the race for the bronze medal after clocking-in at 1:56:45.
Dominika Jamnicky, of Guelph, Ont., ran to 44th spot at 2:06:05. Amelie Kretz, of Blainville, Que., also pulled out of the race in the run and did not finish.
The next stop on the World Triathlon Series is set for April 24 in South Africa, followed by Yokohama in mid-May.
Top-Five Men’s Results:
1. Mario Mola, ESP, 1:46:28; 2. Fernando Alarza, ESP, 1:46:55; 3. Jonathan Brownlee, GBR, 1:47:09; 4. Ryan Baillie, AUS, 1:47:31; 5. Ryan Fisher, AUS, 1:47:45
11. Tyler Mislawchuk, Oak Bluff, Man., 1:48:17; 23. Kyle Jones, Oakville, Ont., 1:49:22; 44. Xavier Grenier-Talavera, Vaudreuil, Que., 1:54:55; DNF. Andrew Yorke, Caledon, Ont.; DNF. Michael Lori, Tecumseh, Ont.
Top-Five Women’s Results:
1. Helen Jenkins, GBR, 1:56:03; 2. Gwen Jorgensen, USA, 1:56:44; 3. Andrea Hewitt, NZL, 1:56:45; 4. Flora Duffy, BER, 1:56:58; 5. Rachel Klamer, NED, 1:58:06
22. Sarah-Anne Brault, Quebec City, 2:00:48; 44. Dominika Jamnicky, Guelph, Ont., 2:06:05; DNF. Amelie Kretz, Blainville, Que.