Kirsten Sweetland proved she’s on more than a comeback at the World Triathlon Series in Hamburg, Germany today. Not only did she capture her first ever third place finish following a series of injuries over the last six years, but she did so among the best in the sport at one of the largest triathlons in the world.
“I’m absolutely shocked,” said Sweetland. “I knew I was in good form, but I had no idea that I had this in me today.”
After a solid 750m swim, the Victoria BC athlete pulled much of the top group over the 20 km bike before pulling away with the lead runners. The top ranked triathlete in the world, Gwen Jorgensen, took the lead finishing in 56:54 while Sweetland and Australia’s Emma Jackson fought each other hard over the last two kilometres of the run, coming down to sprint and photo finish with both athletes clocking in at 57:00.
“I had been doing some good training in Spain with my friend Emma Moffat, but you never know where you are really at until you get out here,” said Sweetland, who will represent Canada at the Commonwealth Games in 10 days.
“After the bike today I just kept going. It feels amazing to be able to run with the big girls,” added Sweetland.
Jorgensen’s win means she is the first woman to win four straight World Triathlon Series races. Canada’s Paula Findlay held the previous record, winning three WTS races in a row in 2011.
Quebec City’s Sarah-Anne Brault was one spot out of the top ten in 57:47 and Calgary’s Ellen Pennock was 37th in 59:50. Sweetland and Brault are now sixth and seventh in the WTS rankings respectively.
In the men’s race Andrew Yorke was the sole Canadian to race and finished 31st at 53:10. Alistair Brownlee topped the podium for the first time this year winning with a time of 51:43. Vincent Luis, of France, was second in 51:45, and Jonathan Brownlee took bronze in 51:48.
The World Triathlon Series continues on Sunday in Hamburg with the Mixed Relay World Championships.
Top-Five Women’s Results:
1. Gwen Jorgensen, USA, 56:54; 2. Emma Jackson, AUS, 57:00; 3. Kirsten Sweetland, Victoria, CAN, 57:00; 4. Andrea Hewitt, NZL, 57:11; 5. Jodie Stimpson, GBR, 57:15.
Other Canadian Results:
11. Sarah-Anne Brault, Quebec City, 57:47; 37. Ellen Pennock, Calgary, 59:50.
Top-Five Men’s Results:
1. Alistair Brownlee, GBR, 51:43; 2. Vincent Luis, FRA, 51:45; 3. Jonathan Brownlee, GBR, 51:48; 4. Javier Gomez, ESP, 52:00; 5. Dmitry Polyanskiy, RUS, 52:12.
31. Andrew Yorke, Caledon, Ont., 53:10.