WELLAND, Ont.—Mathis Beaulieu and Colette Reimer won back-to-back golds in the individual triathlon events at the 2022 Canada Summer Games on Thursday in Welland, Ont.
Quebec’s Beaulieu won his fifth straight race this summer following an epic dash to the finish in the men’s super sprint competition, while the 21-year-old Reimer made her mark in the Niagara region after climbing to the top of the women’s podium for the second-straight race. Both athletes were also golden in Monday’s sprint discipline.
The 18-year-old Beaulieu lived up to his billing as the heavy favourite coming into the domestic multi-sport festival having won his last two junior international races in addition to the Canadian Championships.
The Quebecer was dominant in the intense battle at the Welland International Flatwater Centre, winning in thrilling fashion with a time of 22:53.
“I felt like I had a lot of pressure to do well for Team Quebec and I wanted to make my province proud, so I’m really happy about that. It takes some of the pressure off,” said Beaulieu.
After completing the 300-metre swim and hammering the pedals for 8 kilometres, Beaulieu was in an all-out foot war to the finish with British Columbia’s Daniel Damian.
“Today was a little more difficult, but I was expecting it,” said Beaulieu, who added the transitions in a super sprint have to be perfect. ““I’m not much of a sprinter, so I knew it would be close in the end because the other guys was really good. It all went really well. The swimming was hard, we were on the outside and the current was strong, but we came back and worked together on the bike, and it worked.”
“In a 5km (run), I usually create a good gap with my opponents, I attack right from the beginning. Today, I had to keep some energy for the end, because everything happens in the final sprint.”
It sure did.
The duo ran on each other’s heels for nearly the full 1.6 kilometres, but in the end, Beaulieu found his sprinting legs to edge out Victoria’s 19-year-old Damian at the line.
Damian was rewarded for the hard-fought battle with his second silver medal at the Canada Games, posting a time of 22:54.
Beaulieu’s Quebec-based teammate, Nicolas Harvey, was the next best finisher in third place at 23:14.
The energy at the triathlon venue permeated from the spirited sprint finish over to the start pontoon for 30 women waiting for the start pistol to signal the beginning of their own super sprint race – an action-packed spectator friendly event that leaves no margin for athlete error.
“Seeing my teammate (Daniel Damian) fight for first and second and end up just missing in the sprint out was super exciting,” said Colette Reimer.
Reimer executed her race tactics to near perfection to continue British Columbia’s tradition of excellence at the Canada Summer Games by winning her second individual medal of the week with a time of 25:54.
“It is super exciting to race for Team BC. I’ve always seen my other teammates in past years dominate for Team BC, so it is exciting to add to their medal count today,” said Reimer.
The Victoria resident bounced back after a difficult swim that took the young Canucks around four turns in the 300-metre test.
“The swim was super aggressive. I came out a little further back in the swim, and with a strong wind on the bike again it was really strung out for an 8km bike, but I managed to work my way back to the front,” added Reimer. “On the run I battled it out with (Alberta’s) Sophia Howell. It was super exciting to break away in the last stretch.”
Reimer and Howell, who are both members of Triathlon Canada’s National Performance Centre in Victoria, ran stride-for-stride for the majority of the 1.6-kilometre foot race. Howell was forced to settle for the silver after a late surge by Reimer. Howell snagged her second medal in as many races clocking a time of 25:57.
The 19-year-old from Airdrie, Alta. switched positions on the podium with Manitoba’s Anja Krueger. The 19-year-old Krueger (East St. Paul, Man.), who won the silver on Monday, clocked-in at 26:02 for third spot today.
The triathlon events will wrap up on Friday at the Canada Summer Games with the mixed relay races.
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