The Aquathlon World Championships kicked off today in Edmondon. The event has been held annually since 1998. Athletes competed a 750m swim and 4.6km run. The two first world champs were crowned early Wednesday afternoon in the paratriathlon division with Great Britain’s Melissa Reid and Hungary’s Peter Boronkay taking the titles.

Japan’s Yuichi Hosoda and Ryousuke Yamamoto finished first and second in the men’s elite race, while Ukraine’s Yegor Martynenko was third with the second-fastest run split of the day. Kyle Smith won both the U23 and junior world titles in 26:10.5.

“I thought this aquathlon is very, very good for swim practice for me,” Hosoda said. “This is a different kind of swimming with a diving start. It was a good running session for me. I’m looking forward to this weekend. I’m very happy.”

In the women’s race, Anneke Jenkins of New Zealand took gold and last year’s bronze medal winner Yuliya Yelistratova of the Ukrain took silver. Great Britain’s Hannah Kitchen took third.

“It was good, I really enjoyed,” Jenkins said. “It’s a good warmup, I had to do some hard training today. It’s good to do the swim. I got lost twice coming out of the swim, so it’s good to get those things out of the way.”

Ukrainian Ivana Kuriackova won the women’s U23 division and New Zealand’s Jaimee Leader won the women’s junior category.

Most of the races begin on Friday August 29th with the Age Group Sprint and the hotly contested Junior Men’s and Junior Women’s races. Canadians Emy Legault, Kirsten Vergara and Elisabeth Boutin are certain to pose a threat in the women’s race while Jeremy Briand, Russell Pennock, Xavier Grenier-Talavera and Myles Zagar will do the same on the men’s side.

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