On Saturday, June 29th, two days before Canada’s birthday, Tyler Mislawchuk won his first career World Triathlon Series medal in Montreal. The 24-year-old Olympian, from Oak Bluff, Manitoba, also became the first Canadian male ever to win a medal on the World Triathlon Series.
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An emotional #TylerMislawchuk storms into the history books as the first Canadian male to podium in the 10-year history of the World Triathlon Series, winning 🥉 in front of a boisterous 🇨🇦 crowd in Montreal! #triathloncanadanation #bronze #podium #canadaday #teameffort @triathlonmanitoba @worldtriathlon 📷 Wagner Araujo/ITU Media
In a field of 55 athletes, Mislawchuk endured the high speeds, extreme heat and intense rain to cross the line 53:53. “It is crazy, and a dream come true,” said an emotional Mislawchuk at the finish. “Every corner there were Tyler chants so to do this at home is more special than any moment I have had in the sport.”
It was in the early stages of the 5K run where a group seven athletes made the spit from the rest of the field. Racing at top end speed, the group began to dwindle. First to be dropped was Spainaird Javier Gomez. “I knew I was there running with the best in the world. What’s pretty crazy is at the 2.5-kilometre mark I was feeling great and thought I had the race won,” added Mislawchuk. “I knew I had to stay with Mario (Mola) and if I did I’d be on the podium. He is a frontrunner and he always surges so I knew others were going to drop off and it would be one less person to worry about.”
With 1.3K to go, Mario Mola surged – but Mislawchuk and Jelle Greens were able to respond. In the process, Richard Murray and Kristian Blummenfelt were dropped. It then became a fight between the trio of the medal positions. In the end, it was Greens who outsprinted Mola and Mislawchuk to take his first WTS win. “My legs came off a bit and they popped me off around one of the final corners, but I knew I was going to be on the podium. I can’t believe it,” says Mislawchuk.
At the finish, Mislawchuk quickly credited his podium success to his coach, Jono Hall, Head Coach of Triathlon Canada’s National Performance Centre. “I told Jono after the race I couldn’t have done this without him. He’s so positive to have around, is such a big supporter and is pivotal to all of this,” added Mislawchuk. “I am absolutely over the moon. I’m going to have a beer tonight to celebrate.”
Earlier this year, Mislawchuk became the first Canadian in six years to hear the Canadian anthem played at a World Cup triathlon race when he won in Mooloolaba, Australia. He added another World Cup victory to his resume two weeks ago in Huatulco, Mexico.
Other Canadians: Alexis Lepage finished 36th at 56:39. Matt Sharpe was 37th (56:40), and Mike Lori placed 44th with a time of 57:54.
In the women’s race, Canada’s Joanna Brown was the sole Canadian in the field and had podium hopes after back to back fourth place finishes in Montreal (2017 & 2018). In the end, Carp, Ontario-native could not match the pace on the flat course and finished 12th.
“That one was super hot, super fast and a super painful race,” said Brown. “I was really aiming for another strong performance here in Montreal. I can’t speak highly enough of the people cheering out on the course. Merci Montreal.”
Earlier this year, Brown won her first career World Triathlon Series medal (bronze) in Bermuda. It was on the bike where a lead group of seven riders formed a break and Brown missed out. After the 20K ride, Brown lead the second pack into transition with just over a minute deficit.
“The bike course was definitely challenging with some super technical corners, and a nice little kicker of a hill,” said Brown, who now sits sixth overall on the World Triathlon Series women’s standings. “My run legs were nowhere to be found once I got out on the simmering pavement. I’ll find them for Hamburg.”
Once again, it was Katie Zaferes who went onto win Montreal – her fourth World Triathlon Series title in five starts this year. Britain’s Georgia Taylor-Brown and Jessica Learmonth finished second and third.