Amelie Kretz comes from back of the Olympic triathlon pack to finish 15th

There are triathletes who wrote exceptional stories in winning Olympic medals before no fans in Tokyo who need to be celebrated, and a Canadian who needs a hug, too.

Amelie Kretz of Ste. Therese, Que., had the best result of any Canadian woman in Olympic triathlon history coming from 27th out of the water to end up 15th.

A 15th-place finish is the same position left Tyler Mislawchuk of Oak Bluff, Man., gutted out the day before.But for Kretz, it represented a triumph.

She was the 55th and final athlete in the world to qualify for the Olympics.

“I had to find a bunch of races in the last couple of months to get the points to qualify. It’s hard to be disappointed considering what I had to do to achieve what I achieved,” said the 28-year-old after the race.

“I had to find a lot of races in the last four or five months to get the points to qualify,” she said of a season when all the major races were cancelled because of COVID. “I put such an effort into getting here, I wanted to make something out of it.

“Never quit in triathlon. A lot can happen,” said the competitor who not only was nowhere to be seen when a group of seven came out of Tokyo Bay 51 seconds ahead of the next group … and she wasn’t part of that either.But she gutted it out to get to the run portion and make up a lot of ground.

“I had to fight to get here and I had to fight to get my result. I hope people back home are proud of me,” she said.

Triathletes haven’t had any major races for months but there are two remaining in their mostly non-existent past two seasons, one Triathlon World Series race in Montreal and then the world triathlon championships in Edmonton.

The Montreal race, to this point still hasn’t approved fans. But it’s home. And having the world championships in Canada is going to be extra special now for Kretz.

”We’re very excited to hear that we’ll have spectators in Edmonton. It will allow my parents to come and watch and cheer. It’s exciting that people will be able to watch our races live,” said Kretz.Also deserving to be celebrated at the world championships in Edmonton are the medal winners.

Thirty-three-year-old Flora Duffy became the first athlete from Bermuda to ever win an Olympic gold medal and made her nation of 60,000 people the smallest ever to win Olympic Games gold. She’s certainly to be celebrated.

Georgia Taylor Brown of Great Britain recovered from a flat tire to finish 1:14 back. She’s certainly to be celebrated. So too is Katie Zafaris of the USA, who won bronze.

The day before, Kristen Blummenfelt of Norway became the first from his nation ever to win with an incredibly gutsy run to beat 22-year-old Alex Yee of Great Britain, who won silver, and Hayden Wilde of New Zealand took bronze.

As is the case with all events at the Tokyo Olympics, there were no fans on the property at the Odaiba Marine Park course on Tokyo Bay. But at least the athletes, while they were in Tokyo, all got the news that Edmonton had been given permission to welcome spectators to the Aug. 26 world championships that follows the one ‘regular season’ event in Montreal a week earlier.“We are looking forward to Edmonton, especially now with the news regarding fans,” said Eugene Liang, Canada’s high performance director. “I know the athletes will enjoy Edmonton as usual, especially with it being the world championships this year and everything that adds.

“With the shortened season due to COVID, qualification and the Olympics, I believe those racing in Edmonton will be excited and ready to go. It is a short turn around and preparations will not require any reset physically. Mentally, we have been a Paris-focused program. It should just be a shift from the excitement of Tokyo to the preparation of Paris,” he said of the 2024 Olympics.

Mislawchuk duplicating his 15th-place finish in Rio five years, ago gutted the Canadian that spent 14 months away from his home to live and train in Tokyo-like heat and humidity. But Liang said the 26-year-old, who, after his win in the Tokyo test event, had expectations of becoming the only Canadian since Simon Whitfield to podium, is still very much on track for Paris success.

And what Kretz did here made the same statement.

BY: Terry Jones

Triathlon Canada Nation. We Can. We Will.
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