GOLD COAST, Aus.—Martin Sobey battled through the blazing heat to deliver a 23rd-place effort in his first trip to the World Triathlon Grand Final on Friday in Gold Coast, Australia.
Competing in just his second Olympic distance race ever, the 22-year-old from Charlottetown, P.E.I. rebounded from a challenging 1.5-kilometre swim in the Broadwater to finish as the top Canuck with a time of 1:48:00 in the Under 23 race category.
“There are aspects of the race I am really happy with, and other areas where I know I need to continue to work on. Overall, I’m thrilled to have had the opportunity to race, and will leave here having gained a lot of experience and motivation,” said Sobey. “The swim was aggressive right from the start, and it was a tough day for me in the water, but I knew it was still a long race, so I just got on with it and started to chase.”
Sobey entered first transition onto the bike in 47th place. With a group of about 10 riders breaking away from the field up front early in the eight-lap bike course down the Gold Coast Highway, Sobey and Canadian teammate, Charles Paquet, scrapped for precious time while working with many of the world’s most promising young triathletes strung out along the course.
“Slowly our bike pack grew in numbers, and by halfway we had an established group working well together to minimize the damage,” added Sobey, who now lives in Victoria and trains out of Triathlon Canada’s National Performance Centre.
Onto the run, Sobey steadily worked his way into the top-30, picking off 10 athletes over the four-lap, 10-kilometre course that filtered into the finishing stretch at Mitchell Park situated along Australia’s brilliant coastline.
“This is only my second Olympic distance race, so I was nervous how I would hold up over 10 kilometres of running, but things felt really good. I slowly caught people, which kept the motivation high, and had nothing left when I crossed the finish line,” said Sobey.
National Development Team athlete, Charles Paquet, struggled to find his top form in Australia. The Port Cartier, Que. resident squeaked into the top-30 with a 28th place finish at 1:49:48.
New Zealand’s Tayler Reid was crowned World Champion in the under-23 division after a hard-fought battle with the podium finishers. After multiple attacks in the final 2.5-kilometre run loop, Reid countered with a golden sprint to the line, finishing at 1:44:08. Great Britain’s Samuel Dickinson celebrated the silver medal with a time of 1:44:31, while Hungary’s Bence Bicsak claimed the bronze medal after clocking-in at 1:44:31.
The World Triathlon Grand Final continues on Saturday in Australia with the Para-triathlon, junior men’s and women’s and elite women’s race.
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, 2XU Canada, Training Peaks, Garneau, Zizu Optics and Zone3– 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.