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He’s back! Mislawchuk bounces back at WTCS Abu Dhabi

Canadian Olympian "back racing rather than participating"

Photo by: World Triathlon/ Wagner Araujo

Since his second consecutive 15th-place finish at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2021, Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk has struggled to regain the form that, at one point, saw him heading to Tokyo as one of the pre-race favourites. That was after his dramatic win at the Tokyo Test Event in 2019, along with four World Cup wins and a podium at WTCS Montreal, but then the pandemic hit.

Seemingly ready to perform in Tokyo, Mislawchuk struggled with an Achilles tendon injury and wasn’t able to put together the run performance that would have placed him higher at his second Olympics. Things didn’t really get much better in 2022.

“It’s been bad luck,” he said in an interview at the Commonwealth Games last year. “I’ve had a chest infection, lung infection, COVID twice. Bad luck, but it can’t last forever. I’m healthy and fit right now, so it’s just disappointing that I couldn’t do it on the day.”

In Birmingham, Mislawchuk got dunked during the swim (by “one of the men who finished on the podium,” he would say after the race). Things only got worse from there.

Related: Welcome to the Yee and Wilde Show – the Commonwealth Games in Words and Pictures

“I jumped on my bike and my tire popped when I jumped on my saddle,” he said. “So I rode 2.5 km and changed it, but my gears wouldn’t work with the new wheel, so I couldn’t continue.”

The season ended with a 35th-place finish at the Grand Final in Abu Dhabi. A great performance for many, but not for someone considered amongst the top in the sport.

All of which made today’s 12th-place performance for Mislawchuk that much more satisfying. Were it not for an unfortunate 10-second penalty he received when his goggles fell and ended up centimetres away from his equipment box in transition, he certainly would have finished in the top-10, and possibly even higher.

“This is something that finally makes sense after a tough 18 months. There are not many people who still believed that I can run at the front of a WTCS, and I tell you what, it feels pretty darn good,” said Mislawchuk.

“It’s not ideal to have the penalty. It likely cost me a fifth or sixth-place finish,” he said. “More importantly, today was about being back racing rather than participating. Being at the front of a race, mixing it up with the guys. It is exactly what I needed for my head, so I’m pretty stoked with it. I want to thank everyone in my corner who have stuck with me through a rocky period and hopefully this is the start of sunnier days.”