Canada’s Sarah-Anne Brault ran her way to a ninth place finish on one of the toughest courses on the circuit amidst a star-studded field on Sunday in Auckland, New Zealand. The course is said to be similar to the 2016 Olympic course in Rio. The bike course is slightly longer than the standard distance at 43.2 km. The 25-year-old from Quebec City finished in a time of 2:12:35.
“I love New Zealand. The Kiwis are tough people who put on honest, tough races which suits me,” Brault told Triathlon Canada after the race. Last year she had a career-best fourth-place result on the same course.
“My result last year did go through my head in the lead up, but every race is a different race. I’m a different athlete now and there are different players in the game. I tried to stay focused today, and give the performance I was capable of doing,” she continued.
American Gwen Jorgensen continues to make history claiming her 10th-career World Triathlon Series title, and first in New Zealand. Jorgensen won in a time of 2:09:04. Fellow-American, Katie Laferes was second in 2:10:42, while Andrea Hewitt overcame a 15 second penalty to grab third in 2:10:58.
“I can only control my own performance, but those Americans are impressive and they keep coming with more,” said Brault. “They bring the level of the game up, and I’m sure we’ll see a lot of people running faster as we get closer to the Olympics.”
Edmonton’s Paula Findlay was the only other Canadian to finish the race. Findlay was in the mix mid-way through the bike before falling off the lead place into 30th place with a time of 2:16:17. Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland, and Amelie Kretz, of Blainville, Que., did not finish.
Andrew Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., was the top Canuck in 19th spot with a time of 1:59:10.
“I was pretty happy with my performance here today, and I’m moving in the right direction,” said Yorke. “My swim has greatly improved. Every year I feel like the bike is going to get a bit easier on this course, and every year I’m wrong. The guys just roll it on this incredibly challenging course.”
Jonathan Brownlee took the win for the first time in Auckland in 1:55:26. Last year’s winner Javier Gomez took second in 1:55:41. Pierre Le Corre, of France, rounded out the men’s podium in third at 1:55:52.
Ontario’s Kyle Jones and Michael Lori, did not finish the race. Jones, of Oakville, was caught up in bike crash after Ron Darmon or Israel went down while reaching for his water bottle.
from Triathlon Canada