At the Canada Summer Games in Summerside, P.E.I., British Columbia’s Alison Hooper and Jeff Phillips captured first place in triathlon’s first appearance in the games. The women battled waves and windy conditions, but Hooper negotiated the 750 m swim, 20 km bike and 5 km run to come out on top to win gold in 58:15. Manitoba’s Sarah-Anne Brault won silver in 58:34 and B.C.’s Kyla Coates won the bronze medal in 58:57. Christine Ridenour of B.C. (59:12), and Ontario’s Dorelle Hinton (59:13) completed the top five.
“It was really tough conditions today. I’m pretty small and those waves were big and pushed me around a bit, but it was the cross-winds on the bike that made things extremely difficult,” said Hooper.
Weather conditions calmed down for the men’s race and Victoria’s Jeff Phillips made his move on the first lap of the run to win in 53:59. Ontario’s Connor Hammond, the junior national champion, won the silver medal (54:44), and B.C.’s Cole Stewart won bronze (54:52). In fourth was Saskatchewan’s Joel Howlett (55:06) and Nova Scotia’s Brad Piggott was fifth (55:15).
“I think British Columbia is the triathlon capital of Canada and we showed that today,” said Phillips. “We have a really good development program, our national team is based out of the training centre in Victoria, and training year-round is such a huge advantage for us.”