Four Canadians in Top 10 in Pan Am Triathlon
Grit and determination. Andrew Yorke and Tyler Mislawchuk displayed both in finishing seventh and 10th, respectively, in the men’s triathlon on Day 2 of the Pan Am Games.
Racing with a cracked rib sustained in a bike crash during training last week, Mislawchuk started the day coming out of the swim in second place, but fell back to the pack during the bike before climbing into the top 10 during the run, to finish in 1:49:54. Yorke had a bit of a slower start, but gave everything he had during the run, even taking the lead for a while, but ended up 26 seconds off the podium (1:49:31).
“I had a decent swim and felt really strong on the bike,” said Yorke. “When I got on the run I felt the pace was slow so I just said ‘I’m going to grab this and go with it.’ When I took the lead I kept telling myself not to let it go… I felt with a lap to go if I could be in it nobody could beat me, but I just hit a wall.”
“I had some adrenaline in the swim, but just couldn’t run and was struggling to breathe properly,” said Mislawchuk. “I’m so thankful to everyone for the support. Hearing my name all along the course was pretty awesome.”
Canada’s third entry, Kyle Jones, did not finish after suffering a flat front tire during the bike.
“On the second lap in great position, one of the athletes went off course and when he re-entered he touched one of the cones and it shot right at my front wheel and punctured the tire… immediately,” said Jones. “The bike was pretty much un-rideable. The day was done earlier than expected, just really disappointed.”
The women had opened the triathlon competition at Toronto 2015 on Day 1. Up-and-comer Ellen Pennock was the top Canadian in sixth place (1:58:42), just over a minute behind the winner, veteran Barbara Riveros of Chile. It was Pennock’s first major international race since suffering a broken collarbone at last year’s Commonwealth Games.
“I had a tough year after breaking my collarbone so it has been a long journey to come back into form. That was my best race this year which is positive for me,” said Pennock. “It was really an amazing experience out there with the Canadians cheering.”
Paula Findlay also broke into the top 10, finishing ninth (1:59:55), as she continues to find the form that saw her win five World Triathlon Series races across 2010 and 2011. She had arrived in Toronto battling a knee injury and sore throat and wasn’t even sure she’d make it to the start line.
“It would have been great to win in front a home crowd, but that isn’t the ultimate goal,” said Findlay. “The end goal is Rio. I’ve been really healthy the last year. I’ve been training well and I’m in a really good headspace right now. I have another little setback right now, but I just need to manage it and stay focused on the process.”
Joanna Brown rounded out the Canadian results with a 13th place finish (2:02:04).