WELLAND, Ont.—British Columbia successfully defended its Canada Summer Games title in the triathlon mixed relay on Friday in Welland, Ont.
The team of Sidney Clement (West Vancouver), Daniel Damian (Victoria), Trevor Laupland (Kamloops) and double-gold medallist in the women’s individual events this week – Colette Reimer of Victoria – combined to post a winning time of 1:38:45. British Columbia was also crowned Canada Games champs in the triathlon mixed relay five years ago in Winnipeg.
“It was so fun to race the relay. Everyone executed their strengths today and just helped us get a bit of a gap and keep opening it up,” said Reimer, who completed the golden hat track at the 2022 Canada Summer Games.
The mixed relay consists of each of the four team members completing a 300-metre swim, 8-kilometre bike course followed by a 1.6-kilometre run. Athletes tag off to their team member after completing all three disciplines.
The 17-year-old Sidney Clement set the tone for the west coasters, breaking off the front of the pack onto the bike course before turning on jets for the short run to lead all athletes through the opening leg.
Daniel Damian, who finished second in both of his individual competitions in the Niagara Region, was not going to let a gold medal slip away. The 19-year-old was flying at the Welland International Flatwater Centre. Damian opened up a sizeable lead on the field before tagging off to British Columbia’s ace, Colette Reimer, for the third leg.
“It went great today. Went right to plan and bringing it home for BC never felt better,” said Damian. “Two silvers (in individual) but the team relay always feels the best. Team plan was to get as far ahead as possible and lead the whole way really. We knew Quebec had some good runners, so we wanted to hit it from the get-go and lead the whole way.”
Reimer made sure of that, putting the hammer down on the rest of Canada’s rising stars in the sport through the swim, bike and run.
“I wanted to keep working because even though we had a bit of a lead I wanted to hand over to Trevor with as much of a lead as possible. In the relay you just never know what can happen,” added Reimer.
Trevor Laupland was solid in the swim, stayed upright on the bike and enjoyed a 1.6-kilometre victory run to the finish for Team BC in the anchor leg.
“The job is never finished until you cross the line,” said Damian. “Trevor was having a great time and it was great to cheer from the sidelines. Probably my favourite moment of my whole Games.”
The Quebec team consisting of Beatrice Normand (Coteau-du-Lac), Nicolas Harvey (Quebec City), Sarah Hamel (St-Germain) and Mathis Beaulieu (Quebec City) won the silver medal and the province’s fourth medal of the week after posting a time of 1:40:08. It was Beaulieu’s third medal of the Games. The 18-year-old ran away with gold in both the sprint and super sprint races.
Team Ontario’s – Alex Campbell (Kingston), Mahaylia Datars (Caledon), Tristen Jones (Peterborough, Ont.) and Sage Sulentic (Dundas) – made a little Canada Summer Games history while joining forces to claim the bronze medal with a time of 1:40:36.
The third-place finish made Jones the most decorated Canada Summer Games triathlete with four medals. In addition to also winning the bronze in Monday’s sprint race, the 20-year-old had two silvers at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
“It is pretty special. When you hear all of the great athletes who have come through our sport, to know that I can prove myself at this level, I’m just excited that maybe it is something that this record stays around for a long time,” said Jones. “It’s always really fun to race in front of the home crowd in Ontario. To be able to experience two different Games is something I won’t forget.”
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