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Triathlon will kick off the Commonwealth Games

Credit: ITU/triathlon.org
Credit: ITU/triathlon.org

The Commonwealth Games Opening ceremonies get underway on Wednesday and triathlon is the first event starting on Thursday July 24. This is the third year that triathlon is included in the Games. It was first officially added in 2002 but was included as a demonstration event in 1990. This year is the first time the mixed relay event will be contested. Mixed relay consist of four men and women competing together, with each completing a mini triathlon. The dynamic event will take place on Saturday July 26.

Fresh off her bronze-medal breakthrough at the World Triathlon Series (WTS) in Hamburg, Germany, Victoria’s  Kirsten Sweetland will lead the Canadian team into Glasgow. Sweetland, who has battled through injuries for the past six years will compete in her first multi-sport Games. The 25-year-old is definitely a medal potential.

Sweetland  will be joined by  Quebec’s Sarah-Anne Brault, and Calgary’s Ellen Pennock. Brault, who began the season with a fourth-place finish on the WTS and placed 11th at the most recent World Triathlon Series in Hamburg, is ranked seventh in the world. Pennock, the youngest competitor on the women’s team. She won silver at the 2013 Under 23 World Championship in London.

In the men’s, race 2012 Olympian Kyle Jones, of Oakville Ont. has shown he is ready to rock following back to back wins at Toronto’s ITU Pan American Cup on July 12; an unofficial test event for the 2015 Pan Am Games and the Pan Am Cup in Magog this past weekend. Jones was 15th at the World Triathlon Series event in London this year.

Victoria’s Matthew Sharpe, and Andrew Yorke of Caledon, Ont., will join Jones in Glasgow. The later, Yorke placed 25th this season at the World Triathlon Series in Chicago. He also posted a career-best 15th place finish earlier this year at the World Triathlon Series in Yokohama, Japan.

Sharpe, who was battling through injuries at the start of the season, was 15th in the Triathlon Premium European Race in Holten, Netherlands earlier in July. The men’s team strategy will see Sharpe, a strong swimmer and cyclist, play a domestic role for Jones and Yorke.

The CBC will be broadcasting the Games.

Triathlon times:

Thursday, 24 July: Women – 11:00am, Men – 3:00pm
Saturday, 26 July: Mixed Relay – 12:30pm