HAMBURG, Ger.—Add Junior World Championship medallist to Canadian triathlete Mathis Beaulieu’s impressive international resume.
Three weeks after winning his second-straight national title, the 18-year-old Beaulieu won the bronze medal in an epic sprint to the finish, clocking a time of 51:16, on Thursday in Hamburg, Germany.
“The race went really well. It was a lot of fun to race against the best of the world and to win a medal,” said the Quebec City teen.
Beaulieu popped out of the water with the top-15 in the 69-man field that dove in for the 750-metre swim. With four athletes breaking away early on the 20-kilometre bike course, Beaulieu was pulling at the front of a group of 19 riders chasing towards second transition.
When foot hit pavement, the best runners made their mark, charging to the front where Beaulieu played a 2.5-kilmoetre cat and mouse game with Portugal’s Joao Nuno Batista and Nils Serre Gehri towards the finishing stretch.
“We worked well as a pack on the bike and worked really hard in the first section of the run,” said Beaulieu. “I had two really strong runners with me. At the end I didn’t find the extra gear so they had me, but I’m proud of myself and I’m proud to have medalled for Canada.”
Portugal’s Batista fulfilled his dream of matching his brother’s feat of winning World Juniors after surging down the blue carpet to break the tape with a time of 51:11. Serre Gehri topped Beaulieu by two seconds (51:14) to take the silver medal.
Beaulieu is just the sixth Canadian triathlete in history to medal at the Junior World Championships. He joins Charles Paquet (silver, 2016); Joanna Brown (bronze, 2010); Kirsten Sweetland (gold, 2006); Kirstie Otto (bronze, 1992); and Erik Myllamaki (gold, 1991).
The Canadian youngster surged onto the international race scene over the last year. The rising star rattled off a string of seven-straight junior races last season that included back-to-back European junior victories, a Canadian Championship title, two wins at Canada Summer Games and a couple of Americas Triathlon Cup triumphs.
Other Canadian results included: Blake Harris in 31st (52:30); Sage Sulentic in 33rd (52:32); and Leandre Binette in 52nd (53:38).
Ontario’s Cara MacDonald was the top Canuck in the women’s race, finishing with a time of 58:10 for 12th spot.
Ilona Hadhoum, of France, was crowned Junior World Champion with a time of 56:47. Mexico’s Jimena Renata De La Pena Schott was second at 56:54. Manon Laporte, of France, placed third at 57:02.
British Columbia’s Heidi Henry finished in 47th at 1:02:07. Beatrice Normand, of Coteau-du-Lac, Que., placed 54th at 1:05:11. Reigning Junior Canadian Champion, Sidney Clement of Vancouver, did not finish.
The junior Canucks will be back on the start line Saturday for the Mixed Team Relay.