With three straight top-five finishes, Kirsten Sweetland is ready to challenge the top triathletes in the world as she heads to Edmonton for the 2014 TransCanada Corp Triathlon World Championships next week. The Victoria resident finished just off the podium in fourth at the World Triathlon Series race in Stockholm, Sweden on Saturday. Sweetland posted a time of 1:03:10 in the sprint race. Sweetland is ranked 6th in the world.
“I really can’t believe I pulled off a fourth place today,” said Sweetland. “Obviously after Commonwealth Games and Hamburg I was gunning for a podium today, but I got a little cold on Tuesday. Not good timing at all.”
Sweetland swam a solid 750-metre swim in chilly, rainy conditions and pushed to the front on the 20km bike course. She then worked with a group of five on the 5km run but was out-sprinted on the blue carpet and settled for fourth.
“I came here just trying to collect some points before Edmonton, and with catching a cold, I just really can’t believe I was able to do this today. I am happy with it for sure”
American Sarah Groff won her first career World Triathlon Series race in 1:03:00. Two New Zealanders were second and third with Andrea Hewitt in 1:03:04 and Nicky Samuels in 1:03:05.
It has been an incredible season for Sweetland. She captured her first WTS medal when she was third in Hamburg. Two weeks later she became the third Canadian ever to win a medal at Commonwealth Games when she ran to the silver.
“My goal this year was to peak at the Commonwealth Games and Edmonton, and I’m just hoping this little illness won’t put too much of a wrinkle into that plan,” said Sweetland at the finish line in Stockholm. “The goal is to recover quickly. I’m going to get to Edmonton tomorrow and get into that zone.
“It will be a first for me to race World Championships at home. I remember racing our World Cups there in 2007 when they were the pinnacle races. I was up near the front for most of the day, and it was such an unreal experience with everyone screaming my name so I’m hoping it will be like that again.”