Mexico dominated the podium at the men’s Pan Am triathlon at Ontario Place in Toronto on Sunday taking gold and bronze. Critano Grajales had the run of the day to finish in 1:48:58 just ahead of American Kevin Mcdowell in 1:48:59 and teammate Irving Perez in 1:49:05. Caledon Ont.’s Andrew Yorke was the top Canadian. He gave a gusty performance on the run where he ran in second just behind friend and training partner Jason Wilson of Barbados for eight aggressive kilometers of the course. Eventually both athletes were caught by the chase pack but they set a blazing pace. Yorke finished seventh in 1:49:31.
Following an incredible swim where he was second, Tyler Mislawchuk fought off the pain of a broken rib which he endured during a bike crash in Spain a week before the Games. Compensating for the pain caused Mishlawchuk cramping on the bike and run, yet the youngest member of team Canada hung on for a top 10 finish in 1:49:54.
Yorke kept the crowds going crazy with his courageous run. He said, “I wanted to grab the lead at 1km on my own territory—my hometown race. While it didn’t turn out as I wanted it to, I didn’t go down without a fight….I’m proud I gave it what I had.”
Mislawchuck was disappointed with his race feeling his broken rib limited him, but he was touched by the support of the crowd. “I was so thankful for the crowd—I had more cheers than ever. It was amazing.”
Kyle Jones of Oakville Ont. had terrible luck today when another athlete who went off course on the bike and tried to re-enter in front of him. The athlete’s wheel touched a cone that hit Jones’ tire causing a puncture.
“I can’t believe this is really happening,” the 2012 Olympian told Triathlon Canada, “I was lucky to stay up but couldn’t ride the bike, and my day was done earlier than expected. I’m really disappointed. This is a race I had on my radar for a long time with family and friends all here today.”
Kevin Mackinnon interviewed Mislawchuk after the race:
Top-Five Men’s and Canadian Results:
1. Crisanto Grajales, MEX, 1:48:58; 2. Kevin McDowell, USA, 1:48:59; 3. Irving Perez, MEX, 1:49:05; 4. Gonzalo Raul Tellechea, ARG, 1:49:12; 5. Jason Wilson, BAR, 1:49:19
7. Andrew Yorke, Caledon, Ont., 1:49:31; 10. Tyler Mislawchuk, Oak Bluff, Man., 1:49:31; DNF. Kyle Jones.