VICTORIA—Canada’s top triathletes will be amongst 18 nations that will open the Olympic qualification period, June 7, for the mixed relay competition that will debut at Tokyo 2020.
Canada will send an experienced group of six athletes to the ITU Mixed Relay Series in Nottingham – all of whom have been part of either the team’s fourth-place result at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, or a fifth-place finish at the 2017 Mixed Relay World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.
The Canadian squad will be led by three members of the Commonwealth Games team including: Tyler Mislawchuk (Oak Bluff, Man.) who is coming off a career-best fourth-place finish on the World Triathlon Series; Joanna Brown (Carp, Ont.), who became just the fourth Canadian ever to reach the Commonwealth Games podium this spring where she came home with a bronze and has been with the world-leaders on the World Triathlon Series over the last two years; and Matt Sharpe (Victoria), who has steadily been climbing his way up the international standings. Olympian Amelie Kretz (Blainville, Que.), who was part of Canada’s best-ever fifth-place result in the mixed relay at the World Champs since the event was moved to Hamburg, is keen to make her first relay start this year.
Two more of Canada’s Commonwealth Games Team members: Desirae Ridenour (Cowichan Bay, B.C.) and Alexis Lepage (Gatineau, Que.) will join the squad in Nottingham to serve as alternates.
“The mixed relay team is a core part of Triathlon Canada’s high-performance strategy heading towards 2020 and we are in good hands with this fiercely determined group of athletes leading our program,” said Eugene Liang, high-performance director, Triathlon Canada. “Each of these athletes have proven they can mix it up with the world’s best, having delivered results under the most intense pressure. We now enter a critical qualification period. Nottingham will present another opportunity to evaluate where we are at and identify the work that needs to be done to achieve our goals on the road to Tokyo.”
Recently named an official Olympic medal discipline for the 2020 Games, the mixed team relay is one of the most thrilling events in triathlon, with teams of two men and two women each completing a short-course triathlon (300m swim, 7km bike, 1.6km run) before tagging off to their teammate to take on the next leg. With its rapid and unpredictable format, athletes love it and spectators enjoy it both onsite and on television, making it one of the most spectacular formats of the circuit.
“The inclusion of the mixed relay into the Olympic programme is significant for our sport in Canada and around the world. As we’ve seen at the Commonwealth Games, this race discipline is spectator friendly, exciting, action-packed and will be another catalyst to spark tremendous growth in the Triathlon Canada Nation,” added Liang. “I’m looking forward to see how our program progresses
Canada’s best finish at a Mixed Team World Championships came in 2009 when the team led by Simon Whitfield won the bronze in Des Moines, Iowa.
The 2018 Mixed Relay World Championships will once again be held in Hamburg, Germany, July 14-15.
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, 2XU Canada, Training Peaks, Garneau, Zizu Optics and Zone3– 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.