CAGLIARI, ITA—Canada’s Joanna Brown continued the best start of her triathlon career with her second World Cup medal this spring, winning the bronze in Cagliari, Italy, on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Brown, who stepped onto the World Cup podium for the first time ever this spring with a silver, turned more heads with a bronze-medal finish against many of the top names in the sport. Brown, of Carp, Ont., clocked a time of 1:02:29 in the women’s sprint race.
“It feels amazing to be back on the podium,” said Brown. “I came here with a mission of getting on the podium, and I think being able to back up my performance from New Plymouth is a really good indication that training is going well and that I’m headed in the right direction.”
Switzerland’s Jolanda Annen was first to cross the finish line with a time of 1:02:04. Kirsten Kasper, of the United States, topped Canada’s Brown by one second to claim the silver medal at 1:02:28.
Brown and her fellow competitors tackled a hilly and technically challenging cycling course in Cagliari, logging a 750-metre swim, five laps on the bike, and a three-lap, five-kilometre run. Brown exited the swim close to Kasper, who was first out of the water, and led the lead bike pack to avoid trouble. It was a mental battle for Brown to get through the second run lap, but she remained with her group of four, and kept an eye on Kasper to ensure she was ready for what she knew would be a last sprint push for the finish from the American.
Brown is certainly capturing the world’s attention in her return to the National Development Team and elite racing. Once one of Canada’s top prospects following her bronze-medal triumphs at the Junior and Under-23 World Championships earlier in her career, Brown was ready to pack it in after battling through three years of injuries.
But thanks to a shift to a new training group in 2017, led by Jono Hall and Triathlon Canada’s National Performance Centre based out of Victoria, Brown is now back on track.
“I’m really luck to train with a few ladies that are experienced and successful on the World Cup and WTS circuits, and training with them gives me a lot of confidence in my abilities,” said Brown. “I am really looking forward to improving in small steps this year and working towards a bigger four-year plan.”
Two other Canadian women were also on the start line. Emy Legault, L’Île Perrot, Que., grabbed 26th spot with a time of 1:05:52. Amelie Kretz, of Blainville, Que., made her first elite start since the 2016 Olympic Summer Games, and finished 1:06:01.
Meanwhile, two Canadian men battled their way into the top-20. Olympian, Tyler Mislawchuk, was the top Canuck in 11th spot with a time of 55:43, less than one minute off the lead pace. Charles Paquet, of Port Cartier, Que., finished 17th with a time of 56:09.
Adrien Briffod ensured a Swiss golden sweep in Cagliari, topping the men’s field in a time of 54:49. Henri Schoeman of South Africa (54:52) and Athony Pujades of France (54:58) rounded out the podium, finishing second and third respectively.
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Top-Five Women’s Results:
- Jolanda Annen, SUI, 1:02:04; 2. Kirsten Kasper, USA, 1:02:28; 3. Joanna Brown, Carp, Ont., CAN, 1:02:29; 4. Taylor Knibb, USA, 1:02:32; 5. Yuka Sato, JPN, 1:02:39
Other Canadian Results:
- Emy Legault, L’Île Perrot, Que.: 1:05:52; 29. Amelie Kretz, Blainville, Que., 1:06:01.
Top-Five Men’s and Canadian Results:
- Adrien Briffod, SUI, 54:49; 2. Henri Schoeman, RSA, 54:52; 3. Anthony Pujades, FRA, 54:58; 4. Justus Nieschlag, GER, 55:13; 5. Matthew Mcelroy, USA, 55:15
- Tyler Mislawchuk, Oak Bluff, Man., 55:43; 17. Charles Paquet, Port Cartier, Que., 56:09.