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Performances of the year: Brown wins WTS bronze in Bermuda

Joanna Brown became the first Canadian to reach a World Triathlon Series podium in five years when she took third in Bermuda back in April.

Joanna Brown ended a five-year national drought in 2019, becoming the first Canadian since Kirsten Sweetland to reach the podium at a World Triathlon Series (WTS) event in April.

Joanna Brown with a third place finish at WTS Bermuda. Photo: Tommy Zaferes

Brown came into the 2019 WTS season with momentum. She won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in April of 2018, and then equalled her career-best with a second consecutive fourth-place showing at WTS Montreal in August.

After a bike crash forced her to DNF the opening race of the season in Abu Dhabi, Brown delivered a big performance a month later.

Sitting in 27th after the swim, the Carp, Ont., native got herself back into contention on the bike, pulling a chase group around the 40K course.

Photo: Kevin Mackinnon.

Ultimately leaders Katie Zaferes (USA) and Jessica Learmonth (UK) were too far up the road, but Brown used the day’s second-fastest run split of 34:37 to grab third place in a time of 2:02:05.

“I came out of the water and I saw I had some work to do,” Brown said post-race. “I was determined today, and I got it done.”

“On the run, it took me a little bit to get going, but I knew this was a tough course and you have to keep going after it. I was slowly picking my way closer to the leaders and was just so happy to finally cross the finish line knowing I was on the podium.”

The 27-year-old became the third Canadian to stand on a WTS podium, joining Sweetland and Paula Findlay (who won five races between 2010 and 2011). A few months later in June, Tyler Mislawchuk became the first man to win a WTS medal in Montreal, which we profiled as one of our performances of the year last week.