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Joanna Brown fights to finish fifth at the Huatulco World Cup

Andrew Yorke leads the Canadian men in Mexico.

One month removed from posting a career-best 18th on the World Triathlon Series, the 20-year-old rising star in the Canadian triathlon circles was at it again on Sunday, chalking up her best World Cup finish with a time of two hours, 18 minutes, 13 seconds (2:18:13).

“I didn’t feel great, or even good, at any point today and I had to constantly push through my discomfort and do my best,” said Brown, who has been sick for most of the week, but started feeling better on the weekend. “I may have needed a few more days to recover, but I tried to push it (feeling sick) to the back of my mind. I did well tactically and was proud to get a lead on the pack going into transition two.”

Brown, of Carp, Ont., battled through extreme heat after a solid 1.5-kilometre swim to bridge the gap on the lead pack after two of eight laps on the 40-kilometre bike course which featured a major climb. Hard work on the bike combined with staying mentally tough during the 10-kilometre run, were key factors to the young Canuck’s fifth-place result.

“I can’t say that I was really happy with my race. There are always going to be frustrating races, and things that I cannot control, but I think that is part of growing as an athlete – accepting that you are not going to feel your best going into every race,” said Brown. “I am so proud of my Canadian teammates for pushing through the conditions today, and Coach Craig Taylor deserves a big thank you for delivering me to the start line calm and prepared.”

Brazil’s Pamela Oliveira took the race into her own hands once the gun sounded for the ocean water beach start. Oliveira led out of the water and battled to pull away from the pack all day to clock a winning time of 2:16:10. Austria’s Lisa Perterer was the next best woman in second spot at 2:16:48, while Yuliya Yelistratova, of the Ukraine, hung on for the bronze medal with a time of 2:16:57.

Dominika Jamnicky, of Port Hope, Ont., was the only other Canadian woman on the start line, and finished 13th at 2:28:50.

Competing in just her third World Cup race, and second year as a senior athlete, the determined Brown has enjoyed a steady climb towards racing as an elite. After winning the bronze medal at the Junior World Championships, Brown also celebrated a bronze medal at the Under-23 World Championships one year ago. The rising star in the sport ran to the international podium four times, including her first victory, during her rookie season as an elite athlete last year while competing in development level Pan American Cup races.

“I am slowly working my way up there, but I know it will be a constant climb that requires me to be patient, and learn from my mistakes and successes while trying to keep the whole picture in mind,” added Brown. “I learn more about elite racing with every competition, and I’m not as intimidated. I belong on the start line with these women.”

Meanwhile, some of the top male triathletes cranked up the Mexican heat for an Olympic distance race of their own. Ranked number one heading into the event, Andrew Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., was the top Canadian male on the day in 12th spot after stopping the clock at 2:06:21. Alexander Hinton, of Kingston, Ont., placed 16th at 2:08:19.

Russia’s Artem Parienko put down a monster run to win his first World Cup race with a time of 2:03:12. Argentina’s Luciano Taccone clocked-in at 2:03:24 for the silver medal, while Mexico’s Irving Perez won the race for the bronze medal with a time of 2:03:44.

Three other Canadians also suited up. Taylor Reid, of Hamilton, Ont., finished 20th (2:10:10), while Calgary’s John Rasmussen finished 24th (2:13:43). Tyler Bredschneider did not finish.

Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000 and has been added to the 2016 Paralympic program, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com.

Complete Results (1.5-kilometre swim, 40 kilometre bike, 10 kilometre run): www.triathlon.org

Top-Five Women’s Results:

1. Pamela Oliveira, BRA, 2:16.10; 2. Lisa Perterer, AUT, 2:16:48; 3. Yuliya Yelistratova, UKR, 2:16:57; 4. Claudia Rivas, MEX, 2:17:35; 5. Joanna Brown, Carp, Ont., CAN, 2:18:13

Other Canadian Results:

13. Dominika Jamnicky, Port Hope, Ont., 2:28:50.

Top-Five Men’s Results:

1. Artem Parienko, RUS, 2:03:12; 2. Luciano Taccone, ARG, 2:03:24; 3. Irving Perez, MEX, 2:03:44; 4. Bruno Mattheus, BRA, 2:03:58; 5. Danilo Primentel, BRA, 2:04:18

Canadian Results:

12. Andrew Yorke, Caledon, Ont., 2:06:21; 16. Alexander Hinton, Kingston, Ont., 2:08:19; 20 Taylor Reid, Hamilton, Ont., 2:10:10; 24. John Rasmussen, Calgary, 2:13:43; DNF. Tyler Bredschneider