MIYAZAKI, Jpn.—Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk made a charge to cap off a comeback season with a podium finish, but he ran out of real estate and finished fourth at the World Triathlon Cup in Miyazaki, Japan on Saturday.
Not only did the the 28-year-old have to take on 65 of the best triathletes on the planet, but he also battled through illness throughout the Olympic distance test to finish with a time of 1:48:03.
“It was a tough one. I was throwing up on the bike and sick on the run, so I have to be happy with a fourth,” said the two-time Olympian from Oak Bluff, Man. “I had a stomach bug. I swallowed some ocean water. But I have to be happy, knowing it is not your day and to still finish fourth.”
Mislawchuk came out of the 1.5-kilometre swim, seven seconds behind his teammate Aiden Longcroft-Harris and 14 back of the leaders who strung out the field prior to the long beach run into first transition.
Victoria’s Longcroft-Harris controlled the early pace on the eight-lap, 40-kilometre bike ride, taking the front of a group of 11 athletes who split a 17-second gap on the field. Fighting through illness, Mislawchuk tucked behind the chase group, 20 seconds back.
At the midway point of the bike, a group of 16 riders formed with Mislawchuk digging deep to hang on to the pack.
A lead group of seven athletes quickly came together as foot hit pavement for the 10-kilometre run.
Longcroft-Harris battled to keep the leaders in sight dropping 23 seconds back in 14th spot after the opening lap. Starting the four-lap trek 42 seconds back, Mislawchuk slowly picked off the field, running himself closer to the front with each stride to set up a thrilling showdown on the finishing carpet with five men including the scrappy Canadian in the medal mix.
When the dust finally settled at the finish line, it was Great Britain’s Hugo Milner taking the gold medal with a time of 1:47:46. Dylan McCullough crossed four seconds back at 1:47:50 for second place.
Germany’s Lasse Nygaard Priester held off the charging Canuck for the bronze, stopping the clock at 1:47:59.
Longcroft-Harris ended up in 33rd place at 1:50:24. Clayton Hutchins, who now calls Victoria home, was 46th with a time of 1:54:54. Montreal’s Jeremy Briand placed 48th (1:55:57).
The Miyazaki World Cup brings an end to Mislawchuk’s 2023 racing campaign where he found himself rejuvenated for the drive to Paris 2024, now regularly back racing at the front of the pack with the world’s best. Consistent all season, Mislawchuk had two ninths, a 12th and five top-15 finishes on the World Triathlon Championship Series in 2023 to go along with another World Cup podium. He won the silver at the Huatuclo World Cup in May
“It was a very good bounce back year after a year filled with sickness and injury last year,” said Mislawchuk, who also had two, top-10 finishes at the World Championships (Sprint and Olympic Distance). “It’s a good place to be 11 months out from the Olympics, being top-10 in the world, feeling healthy, and that I know I can progress nicely in the next 10 months which is what it is all about.”
Sophia Howell, of Airdrie, Alta., was the lone Canadian woman to toe the line in Miyazaki. Howell finished in 28th place with a time of 2:06:36.
Italy’s Bianca Seregni won the event with a time of 1:59:43.
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