GOLD COAST, Aus.—Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk locked up ninth spot in the overall World Triathlon Series standings following a 10th-place finish at the Grand Final on Sunday in Gold Coast, Australia.
The 24-year-old Olympian was solid through all three disciplines while swimming, biking and running on the spectacular Australian coast, finishing with a time of 1:45:57 in an action-packed affair against the top 65 male triathletes on the planet.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself in the last few weeks leading into this one. I knew I had to step up and finish in the top 10 to hold my ranking,” said Mislawchuk.
The Oak Bluff, Man. resident came out of the choppy 1.5-kilometre swim in 13th spot before charging into the transition area and heading out onto eight laps of a testy bike course on the Gold Coast Highway. Mislawchuk and his teammate Matt Sharpe (Victoria) settled into a large chase group who battled a strong headwind to finally catch a handful of leaders midway through the 40-kilometre ride. With the world’s best strung out in a large pack, it was clear the World Champion was going to be decided in a foot race.
“The race didn’t play to Matt or my strengths as the pack came together but we both dug deep and made the best of it,” added Mislawchuk. “I gained energy from watching all the other Canadians race before me this week.”
It has been a bounce back season for Mislawchuk, who regularly found his way back into the top-10 on the elite triathlon series this year – a place he occupied two years ago. His 2018 campaign will be remembered for a career-best fourth-place finish at the Yokohama stop of the World Triathlon Series, his first World Cup podium where he won the silver in Antwerp, Belgium, and a career best finish 10th on Sunday at the premiere international race in a non-Olympic year.
Vincent Luis, of France, rebounded from a fall on the bike with a brilliant run to claim the Grand Final in Gold Coast. Luis clocked a golden time of 1:44:34.
Running in a lead group of three with Luis into the bell lap, Spain’s Mario Mola could not respond to the Frenchman’s surge in the final loop of the 10-kilometre run. Mola secured his third overall World Triathlon Series title with a second-place finish on Sunday, stopping the clock at 1:44:48.
Richard Murray, of South Africa, rounded out the men’s podium in third at 1:44:56.
Canada’s Matt Sharpe also capped off his 2018 season with a strong effort. The 27-year-old leveraged an impressive 10th-place swim in the Broadwater alongside Mitchell Park to set himself up for a 17th-place finish. Sharpe mixed it up on the bike with the top names in the game and pushed himself to new limits on the run. He crossed the line in a time of 1:46:38.
“I was extremely stoked with my race this weekend. It was one of the best performances of my career,” said Sharpe. “I finally had a top-level swim. The bike was technical and a constant battle for position with the other 30 athletes in the pack. I just wanted to position myself for a top-20 finish on the run. It was a tough ask, but I was up to the challenge.”
It was Sharpe’s best finish on the World Triathlon Series this year.
“I’m super happy ending my season with a result like this,” added Sharpe. “It was one of the most competitive races of the season, and I was able to step up and perform when it mattered most. I definitely stepped up to a new level this year. I know I truly belong among the best in the world and I can’t thank my coach Jono Hall enough for preparing me perfectly to perform.”
Canadians Finish Eighth in Junior/Under 23 Mixed Relay
A promising young Canadian team that included junior athletes Desirae Ridenour (Cowichan Bay, B.C.), Pavlos Antoniades (Trois-Rivières, Que.), and Hannah Henry (Victoria) along with Under 23 athlete, Martin Sobey (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) teamed up to finish eighth in junior/under 23 mixed relay competition which was held earlier on Sunday.
The Canadians combined to post a time of 1:22:46. Each athlete completes a 250 metre swim, seven kilometre bike and 1.5 kilometre run course before tagging off to their teammate. The mixed team relay was recently named an official medal discipline for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games.
The Canucks were just over two minutes back of the gold medal pace set by the winning team from France at 1:20:27. Germany finished second at 1:20:48, while Great Britain placed third at 1:21:25.
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