PONTEVEDRA, Esp.—Tyler Mislawchuk threw down the best World Championship Olympic distance triathlon result of his career, racing to eighth on Saturday afternoon.
The 28-year-old proved he is amongst the world’s elite grinding through a 1.5-kilometre swim, 40-kilometre pedal and four-lap, 10-kilometre run in Potevedra, Spain to post a time of 1:43:09.
“I am really quite pleased with the race today. It is probably the most proud I am of a race this year,” said Mislawchuk, who was ninth earlier this summer in the first ever elimination format at the World Triathlon Sprint and Relay Championships. “To end up eighth in the deepest race of the year is really exciting. I’m stoked. Hopefully it will now move me close to a top-10 in the World Ranking. That was the goal at the beginning of the year.”
Bettering his previous best World Championship result but one spot, the confident Oak Bluff, Man. resident was also 10th at the 2018 Olympic distance triathlon extravaganza in Gold Coast, Australia.
Mislawchuk came out of the water on Saturday following a two-lap swim in 15th spot, 18 seconds back of the frontrunners.
After hopping on the bike for an eight-lap course that features a testy climb through Pazo de la Cultura to the Avenida de Compostela, the experienced Canuck worked in a chase group 15 seconds back of the pace setters up front. A large pack of 23 riders quickly formed, and stayed together where they charged into second transition with just seconds separating front-to-back.
Mislawchuk headed onto the four-lap run course through the historic town, just four seconds off the leading mark. He made up one second in his first rip around the 2.5-kilometre test where he was running 11th in a group of 15 of the top names in the three-discipline sport.
Morgan Pearson, of the United States, tried to make a break off the front midway through the run that may have cost him a podium. The world’s best reeled him in, and dropped him over the final five kilometres.
Emptying the tank, the hard-nosed Canuck battled to hang on with the group dropping to nine. With five running out front, Mislawchuk scrapped it out in a group of three, 24 seconds back of the leaders on the bell lap.
“It was a day where I felt average but battled the whole time. I didn’t feel great in the water. Didn’t feel amazing on the bike but I actually felt okay on the run. It was a really tough run course with lots of up and down. I’m really proud of the entire team’s fight out there today,” said Mislawchuk.
Dorian Coninx, of France, was crowned World Champion topping Germany’s Tim Hellwig and Pierre Le Corre (France) in a photo finish. Each of the top-three were clocked at 1:42:22 while lunching to the line.
Charles Paquet, of Port Cartier, Que., was in the chase group on the bike with his Canadian comrade, Brock Hoel of West Kelowna, B.C.
Paquet, who had a career-best seventh-place result at the World Triathlon Championship Series in Montreal this summer, crossed the finish line in 24th at 1:44:16. Hoel ran out of gas on the run to finish 47th with a time of 1:46:55.
It has been a 18 challenging months for Mislawchuk, struggling to find his elite form since his second, 15th-place Olympic finish at the Tokyo Games, marking the end of a medal-winning run where he became the first Canadian triathlete ever to win an Olympic Test Event when he triumphed in Tokyo four years ago, captured four World Cup titles and a podium at the World Triathlon Championship Series.
He is now back in 2023.
The scrappy Canuck is rejuvenated in the drive to Paris 2024, now regularly back racing at the front of the pack with the best triathletes on the planet. Consistent all season, Mislawchuk has two ninths, a 12th and five top-15 finishes on the World Triathlon Championship Series in 2023.
“It was a very good bounce back year after a year filled with sickness and injury last year,” said Mislawchuk. “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.”
Two Canadians Toe Line in Men’s U23 World Triathlon Championships
Montreal’s Filip Mainville was the lone Canadian to finish the men’s U23 World Triathlon Championship test.
The Montreal resident battled to 37th spot at 1:51:28 in the 60-man field.
British Columbia’s Josiah Ney did not finish.
The World Championships continue on Sunday in Spain.