The final three spots in the Mixed Team Relay for Tokyo are up for grabs this weekend at the Mixed Relay Olympic Qualification Event in Lisbon, Portugal. That means Canada will have to finish on the podium to be able to field a team in Tokyo this summer. There are 17 countries in tomorrow’s race – none of the seven teams that have already secured a spot in Tokyo: France, Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Germany, Netherlands, USA and Japan will be competing.
The Professional Triathletes Organisation has teamed up with World Triathlon to offer an increased prize purse for tomorrow’s race.
The Canadian team roster doesn’t include any of the athletes we’re used to seeing on the line at major Mixed Relay events – the five athletes registered (the final team roster will be released two hours before tomorrow’s 6:30 AM race start) includes Emy Legault, Aiden Longcroft-Harris, Dominika Jamnicky, Martin Sobey and Brittany Warly. According to World Triathlon, Joanna Brown (pictured above waiting for the exchange at the world championship event in Hamburg) is nursing a broken nose sustained during the warm-up at last weekend’s race in Tokyo and isn’t on the start list for tomorrow’s relay or Sunday’s individual race. Tyler Mislawchuk, Matt Sharpe and Alexis Lepage are all entered for Sunday, but aren’t on the start list for tomorrow’s relay. Canadian women on the start list for the individual race in Lisbon include Amelie Kretz, Warly, Legault and Jamnicky.
Tomorrow’s race features teams of two women and two men who will each complete a 300 m swim, 8 km bike and 2 km run. The teams alternate women and men with the first woman from each team starting the race. There are 17 teams competing tomorrow and the race is expected to be a close on with Norway, Denmark and Belgium, who finished within 10 seconds of each other at the last Mixed Team Relay World Championships, likely the favourites for the podium and Olympic qualification. Olympic gold and silver medalist Nicola Spirig will be on hand to anchor the Swiss team, while Spain and Italy also have competitive teams that should be in the mix, too.
Tomorrow’s race will be streamed live on Triathlonlive.tv starting at 6:30 AM EST. We’ll have coverage of the event both on Twitter and here online.