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Lionel Sanders ready to prove he’s not “washed up”

Popular Canadian triathlete reacts to anonymous on-line comments

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

While Lionel Sanders is more than happy to admit that he’s not as good as his fifth-place Professional Triathletes Organisation (PTO) ranking, he’s not ready to agree with the PTO’s “mystery pro,” who says that the Canadian won’t win another world title.

“Reality is, you want to go against top-tier talent, you come off with Leo and you run a 1:07,” Sanders said in his latest video posted on his YouTube channel. “That’s the game.The writing is so clearly on the wall. You win on the run. You lose on the swim, we know that. You lose on the bike, too. But you win on the run. You don’t have that top-end run pedigree, you don’t win. The door is closing on the non-well-rounded athlete.”

“If you take into consideration all of the men focusing on triathlon right now, I am not #5 in the world,” Sanders continued. “That’s a fact. I’d be surprised if I made the top 20. If you don’t get a) more efficient and b) better in the swim, your career is done. You will not do A races. You will do B races. You might not be able to win a B race anymore. You might be relinquished to Cs. I’m not ready to do that yet.”

The PTO posted a quote from a “mystery pro,” who said that Sanders no longer could compete for world titles.

“It’s just a year ago he ended up in second with an awesome race in St. George at the world champs, and no, this was not the little league,” the post read (see below). “I think he will collect a lot more podiums, but he will end his career without an Ironman or 70.3 world champ title. Also I can’t see him winning a PTO Open race. The problem is still his swim and there is more talent coming. His window of opportunity has closed.”

“You think I’m wired like that?” Sanders said in an expletive laden rant when told about the post. “I’ll prove it to you, mystery pro.”

The rest of the video follows Sanders through a run workout that included 6 x 2 km intervals, followed by 5 x 400 m. After being sick for almost a month, the Canadian appears to be returning to top form as he gears up for Ironman 70.3 St. George next month.