MONTREAL—Canadian triathletes, Stefan Daniel and Kamylle Frenette, got their World Para Triathlon Series season off to medal-winning starts in front of friends and family on home turf Saturday in Montreal.
Calgary’s Daniel launched the double-medal day for Canada at Parc-Jean-Drapeau with a victory in the men’s PTS5 category. Frenette, of Dieppe, N.B., persevered through the warm race conditions to snag a bronze medal in the women’s PTS5 race.
Daniel, a 26-year-old, rocketed to a decisive win in the sprint distance event. The business student-athlete at the University of Calgary was a force throughout the triple-sport challenge, winning with a time of 57:24.
“I’m happy to secure a win and start my Paris 2024 qualification (period) off really well,” said Daniel, who was born with bilateral radial club hands “The race was pretty tough today. I knew going in that the heat and humidity would be a big factor.”
The soft-spoken Canuck had a solid swim despite missing getting on the feet of the lead athlete from Portugual, Filipe Marques, who led the field through the 750-metre swim in the Olympic basin. Daniel let it fly on the slick bike course around the Gilles Villeneuve Formula 1 track.
“The bike felt controlled and smooth. I’ve been riding a lot recently getting ready for a half Ironman in a couple of weeks so I’m happy with how the bike felt. The course was so fun, you hardly have to touch your brakes which was awesome,” added Daniel, who had his dad, brother and cousin cheering him on alongside the course. “I just had to hang tough on the run. Thankfully I had enough of a gap on the other guys to hold them off. It was a tough race, but I’m looking forward to continuing to progress for the big races later this year.”
Chris Hammer was the next best finisher behind Daniel for the second-straight year in Canada’s cultural capital. The American finished with a time of 57:37. Brazil’s Ronan Cordeiro claimed bronze with a time of 57:42.
In the women’s PTS5 event, Kamylle Frenette also claimed her first World Para Triathlon Series podium of the season, battling to the bronze with a time of 1:05:05.
Four days removed from her 27th birthday, Frenette had the swim of her life, leading the field out of Olympic Basin, and onto the fast bike course.
“Today was all about executing the plan, and I feel like I did that which is a big win,” said Frenette. “I surprised myself on the swim and fell short on the bike but managed to close the gap a bit on the run.”
The bubbly Maritimer never relinquished a podium position throughout the race and made up some time on her top international rivals throughout the five-kilometre run in Parc Jean Drapeau which was strung out alongside the water.
“Overall, it was a good day. It’s always fun to race on home soil in front of friends and family,” said Frenette who was third at the 2022 World Championships and fourth at the 2020 Paralympics.
American Grace Norman continued her dominance of the women’s PTS5 classification, winning with a time of 1:03:06. Lauren Steadman, of Great Britain, finished in the silver-medal position of the podium at 1:05:05.
Winnipeg’s Leanne Taylor came up shy of the podium in the women’s wheelchair division. Taylor completed the course in a time of 1:08:20 for fourth place.
Jessica Tuomela (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) and her Victoria-based guide, Emma Skaug, placed fifth at 1:12:02 in the women’s visually impaired race.
In the men’s PTS3, Montrealler Hicham Boufekane, was sixth at 1:42:10. Boufekane is competing in triathlon for just the second year.
ABOUT TRIATHLON CANADA
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 – 94 FORWARD, Training Peaks, Subaru Canada, Z3R0D, Tribe Solutions, Champion System Canada, BOCO Gear Canada, ZiZU Optics, Outway Performance Socks, SCICON – along with the City of Victoria, 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.