STOCKHOLM, Swe—Consistency is the standard any high-performance athlete strives to achieve.
Canada’s Joanna Brown is definitely reaching that goal after rattling off her third consecutive top-10 finish and second–straight fourth place result on the World Triathlon Series on Saturday. This time it was at the penultimate event of the season in Stockholm, Sweden.
The 24-year-old Brown clocked a time of 2:03:04 to finish just off the podium in back-to-back races on a challenging course.
“Man it has been a good few weeks,” beamed the Carp, Ont. native, who backed up a seventh-place finish in Edmonton with a fourth-place result in Montreal earlier this month. “It was a fight from the start with choppy water. It felt amazing to cross the finish line in fourth again. I’m really excited to use this momentum going into the Grand Final, and I know that I have another performance in me – especially on a technical and challenging course.”
Bermuda’s Flora Duffy dusted the field to capture her fifth victory of the year with a time of 2:00:09. Jessica Learmonth, of Great Britain, placed second at 2:01:30, while Australia’s Ashleigh Gentle battled from behind for third spot on the podium at 2:01:42.
Admitting to choosing the wrong side of the pontoon, it was also a battle for the lone Canadian for the 1.5 kilometre swim which included one long lap of 1,000 metres followed by a shorter 500-metre loop. With the strong swimmers on the other side of the pack, Brown found her spots to slowly advance through the field throughout the rough waters.
“I came out of the water further back than I hoped. But luckily, the bike course was technical with some tight corners and the only long stretch had a nice tailwind. I used the bike to my advantage to catch up to the chase pack quickly. We rolled along and I stayed in good position on the corners,” said Brown.
With Duffy and Learmonth breaking the field on the bike, Brown settled into a pack of 10 for much of the 40-kilometre ride.
“I tried to attack on the fourth lap with Kirsten Kasper. We were able to drop a few girls from the pack, but nobody was motivated enough to help us out,” added Brown. “I felt like I was moving in slow motion as I pushed my bike up the hill to get to the run.”
Blasting through second transition, the healthy, fit and strong Brown powered her way through the streets of Stockholm on the 10-kilometre run course to the finish.
“I felt good immediately on the run. My legs were still pretty bouncy and the most painful part of the run was the cobbled hill, and following downhill that made me feel like a baby giraffe,” said the two-time World Cup medallist. “I waited patiently and stayed in good position, trying to stay relaxed as possible.”
Ready for a final sprint up the hill and preparing mentally for the hurt, the Canadian turned on the jets and emptied the tank.
“Rounding the last corner up the hill, I could here my coach Jono (Hall) yell encouragement that got me moving. It just feels amazing to have another fourth place finish on such a challenging and technical course. I’m very excited to prepare these next few weeks with a huge focus on having the performance I’m capable of to finish off the World Triathlon Series,” said Brown.
Brown has made steady progress in her development this summer. After winning bronze medals at both the Junior and Under-23 World Championships early in her career, her development was derailed with a string of injuries over the last three years. Things became so low she even contemplated retirement after representing Canada at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. But thanks to enormous support from family, friends and a move this year to work with Jono Hall at Triathlon Canada’s National Performance Centre in Victoria, she is ready to make her mark.
“The next step is just settling into a few weeks of training here in Europe and getting that swim a bit more dialed in for another wetsuit swim,” said Brown. “I’m really fortunate to be surrounded by such a great support team, teammates, coach, family a federation that have made all of this possible for me.”
The Grand Final is set for Rotterdam, Netherlands, September 14-17. Triathlon Canada will name its complete World Championship Team on Monday.
Triathlon Canada is the governing body of the sport in the country. Triathlon Canada’s more than 22,000 members include athletes, coaches and officials from the grassroots to elite levels. With the support of its valued corporate partners –Project, Training Peaks, Zizu Optics, Flight Centre, and Polar – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee, and Own the Podium, Triathlon Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world Champions in all race disciplines. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com.
Complete Results: http://bit.ly/2vq30uh
Top-Five Women’s Results:
- Flora Duffy, BER, 2:00:09; 2. Jessica Learmonth, GBR, 2:01:30; 3. Ashleigh Gentle, AUS, 2:01:42; 4. Joanna Brown, Carp, Ont., CAN, 2:03:04; 5. Yuko Takahashi, JPN, 2:03:07