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They said it: Tyler Mislawchuk, Stefan Daniel and Jessica Tuomela win Tokyo Test Event

Canadians Tyler Mislawchuk, Stefan Daniel and Jessica Tuomela showed the world they will be ones to watch at next year’s Olympic and Paralympic triathlon events thanks to impressive wins at last weekend’s Tokyo Test Event.

With files from Chris Dornan, Triathlon Canada

Mislawchuk sprints to the win

Tyler Mislawchuk celebrates the win at the ITU World Triathlon Olympic Test Event in Tokyo.

Oak Bluff, Man.’s Tyler Mislawchuk improved on his status as the first Canadian man to finish on a WTS podium (he did that at WTS Montreal) by moving up a couple of steps and winning last weekend’s Tokyo Test Event. Here’s what the 23-year-old had to say after his win:

“I can’t believe it. This is the biggest race outside of the Olympics for me, so it is just unbelievable.”

“I just thought (coming down the finishing stretch) I may never have the chance to win a big race again, so I’ve got to take it now. I wanted it more than anything today.”

“I had good legs on the day and need to thank the boys out there for helping me out. We worked well as a team and I couldn’t have done it without them.”  (Mislawchuk’s team-mate Matt Sharpe worked with him through the swim and bike to stay in the front pack.)

“We prepared specifically for this. Hayden (Wilde) and I supported each other the whole way. We knew we were in it for the medals if we worked together. It came down to a sprint and I had the legs.” (Mislawchuk and Wilde led for most of the run with Finland’s Casper Stornes staying close behind. Stornes finished four seconds behind Mislawchuk, with Wilde taking third.)

“The tough years make you double-check yourself.” (Mislawchuk struggled in 2017 after a debut 15th-place finish at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.) “I wouldn’t be here today without that tough year. It makes you realize how much you love the sport. These moments make it all worth it. I have no doubt that I’ll have poor races and great ones in the future, but you have to enjoy these moments because they don’t come around all the time.”

“Now we know how to prepare for next year as well. I need to thank all of my supporters who have been around me through this entire journey, and the people who believe in me. This is a big moment for everyone in my circle.”

Daniel takes another title

Stefan Daniel wins the ITU World Paratriathlon Series race in Montreal. Photo: ITU Media | Wagner Araujo

Stefan Daniel, the 2016 Paralympic silver medalist continued his 2019 winning ways in Tokyo, beating the man who beat him in Rio, Germany’s Martin Schulz. The race in Tokyo was changed to a duathlon due to high E-Coli counts in the water, but that only helped the fast-running Daniel. Some thoughts from the 22-year-old after his two-minute win:

“It was a bit of a shock the race was changed to a duathlon, but we all just wanted to check out the venue here, and we were still able to do that with this race so we are all looking forward to racing it next year.”

“The duathlon caused a change of tactics a bit, but I wanted to race aggressively like I always do. I knew George (Peasgood) and (Martin) Schulz were going to come after me on the bike so I just tried to hold steady and move on the second run.”

“It was pretty hot out there and you feel it on the run, but I was confident in my preparation. We did a lot of heat training, so I was happy with how I handled the heat, and it gives me some confidence heading into next year.”

Tuomela tops the podium

Jessica Tuomela and guide Marianne Hogan. Photo: ITU Media | Delly Carr.

Jessica Tuomela, 36, competing with her new guide Marianne Hogan, took the podium in the women’s visually impaired category. The two have been racing together since May and have enjoyed some success already including a bronze medal at the World Paratriathlon Series in Montreal, followed by a silver at the World Cup in Magog, Que. Tuomela was thrilled with her race:

“Today was amazing. We worked so well together. It is a flat course but even a little hill changes everything for a blind athlete. Marianne’s feedback is paramount, and she was spot on today.”

“It was quite honestly a bit of a shock (to win) given they changed it to a duathlon. I come from a swimming background, so who knew that I would win a bit of a running race.”

“We have only been paired together since May, but at the end of the day, we both know the end goal is Tokyo 2020. So, when we step on that race course, Marianne is there to push me, and I’m there to let her push me.”

“I haven’t allowed myself to think ahead to Tokyo. I take it one race or training day at a time. I learned last year to celebrate the little and big success. Today is about celebrating today and in two weeks we will talk about (World Championships) in Switzerland. It is a hard skill for me to learn but staying in the moment is something that is really important to me now.”