This past weekend was the first stop of the World Triathlon Series (WTS) in Edmonton, AB.
Racing began Friday evening with the World Paratriathlon and the elite women’s and men’s races. In the Paratriathlon, Team Canada walked away with two gold medals (Stefan Daniel and Jessica Tuomela), a silver (Kamylle Frenette) and a bronze (John Dunkerley). Vicky Holland (GBR) and Mario Mola (ESP) took the win in the elite races after showing devastating speed in the final kilometres of the run. Top Canadians were Joanna Brown in 23rd and Matthew Sharpe in 17th.
Saturday was the World Mixed Relay Series race. With the inclusion of the mixed relay in the 2020 Olympics, countries have been using these races to experiment with their line up and focus on earning enough points to qualify for the Games. To qualify a country must come in the top seven by the end of the qualifying period.
On this day, it was Australia that would take the win, followed by the United States of America and New Zealand. Team Australia was made up of Jacob Birtwhistle, Aaron Royle, Ashleigh Gentle and Natalie Van Coevordon. With the USA’s depth in talent, the team had a different line up from Hamburg at Edmonton. This weekend for the States it was Seth Rider, Taylor Spivey, Matthew McElroy and Kirsten Kasper. Then the race of day belongs to Team New Zealand. Bronze medalist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the small island has the talent, but may not be expected to compete against the world’s very best. Despite the odds stacked against them, Taylor Reid put in an unbelievable effort the bike to close the gap to the leading pack, which set up his teammates to do the rest. Bronze medal team included Andrea Hewitt, Reid, Nicole Van Der Kaay and Hayden Wilde.
Team Canada would miss the split in the third leg and end up finishing seventh, earning much need top seven points. Next up on the WTS circuit is the race in Montreal at the end of August. Montreal will be the last race in the WTS before the World Championships on the Australian Gold Coast in September. First for the Canadians will be a trip to Kelowna for the National Triathlon Championships in the middle of August.