WELLAND, Ont.—A blast of rain and heavy winds from Mother Nature could not derail Quebec’s Mathis Beaulieu and British Columbia’s Colette Reimer from their quest for gold at the 2022 Canada Summer Games in Welland, Ont. on Monday.
Both competing in their first multi-sport Games, Beaulieu and Reimer were crowned King and Queen of the sprint-distance triathlon events at the much-anticipated Niagara Canada Summer Games.
To say the 18-year-old Beaulieu is on a hot streak is an understatement.
The Quebec City teen rattled off his fourth straight gold medal performance in as many starts. After a solid swim, Beaulieu navigated extremely tricky conditions on the bike before sprinting away from the field in the five-kilometre run course to add Canada Games champion to his growing resume after clocking a time of 57:43.
“It means a lot to win this medal for Team Quebec,” said Beaulieu, who has also won his last two Europe Triathlon Junior Cup starts in addition to grabbing his first Canadian Championship title this summer. “The reason (for this success) is that I have been working and pushing hard every single day.”
Beaulieu was forced to dig deep in the Niagara region on Monday while taking on the challenging conditions and 29 of the nation’s best developing triathletes throughout the three-sport discipline staged at the Welland International Flatwater Centre.
“The key today was to stay on your bike and be able to manage a good run,” added Beaulieu.
Victoria’s Daniel Damian chalked up a medal on the table for British Columbia after clocking a second-place time of 58:01. Ontario’s 20-year-old Tristen Jones finished in the bronze medal position on the podium. The Peterborough, Ont. athlete stopped the clock at 58:39.
Meanwhile, British Columbia’s Colette Reimer rose to the top of the 30-woman field in the opening day of triathlon competition at the prestigious Canada Summer Games.
“It is always really meaningful to race on home soil, so it is really exciting to take the win,” said the 21-year-old Reimer who broke the finish tape with a time of 1:06:16.
“The weather was really crazy. The men raced in a torrential downpour and the women didn’t know if our start would be delayed.”
Prepared to face high heat and humidity in the race, Reimer quickly adjusted to the challenging conditions when she dove into the water for the 750-metre traditional rectangle-shaped swim course.
“I wanted to focus on the swim because it sometimes is what puts me back a bit. Team BC had all three of us hit the first buoy up at the front and we came out of the water together at the front,” said Reimer.
The wet conditions strung out the field in the five-lap, 20-kilometre bike course which allowed Reimer to break away with Saskatchewan’s Nata Kolesova and Alberta’s Sophia Howell.
The trio opened a big gap on the field and charged onto the unique five-lap run course. Reimer headed onto the five-kilometre run and never looked back. Reimer surged to a huge lead towards the end of the run to solidify the victory.
Anja Krueger, of East St. Paul, Man., finished 16 seconds behind Reimer in the silver-medal position at 1:06:32. Alberta’s Sophia Howell hung on for third place and a time of 1:06:41.
The triathlon events continue on Thursday at the Canada Summer Games with the men’s and women’s Super Sprint events. The rising young stars will round out the action at the triathlon venue with the mixed relay on Friday.