HAMBURG, Ger.—Canada’s Sarah-Anne Brault ran to a career-best performance in World Triathlon Series racing after finishing 11th on Saturday in Hamburg, Germany.
Suiting up in her first WTS race of the year, the 23-year-old Brault clocked a time of 58 minutes 20 seconds.
"Today's race definitely exceeded my expectations by a huge margin,” said Brault, whose previous best on the elite series was an 18th last year in San Diego. “The level of WTS racing is quite a massive jump from World Cup or Continental cup and I wasn't sure I was quite ready for it.
“I got the swim I needed, and surprised myself in the process, and then jumped on Kirsten’s (Sweetland) wheel because I knew it would be a fast ride to the front! I was thrilled to finally be in the lead pack in a big race. The crowds were amazing on the run, and I just tried to chase down the girls in front, even though I didn’t quite have it in the sprint finish."
One of the rising stars in a talented group of Canadian women poised to make their mark on the elite international stage, Brault is quickly finding her top stride after a late start to the season. The Winnipeger won the silver medal at a Pan American Cup race two weeks ago in Brazil.
“I'm on the right track with training this year. I know the olympic distance is a different beast, and I'm looking forward to having some solid weeks of training before Stockholm."
Another young Canuck, Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland, also had another impressive result while grabbing the final spot in the top-15 with a time of 58:33.
The pint-sized 24 year old continues to demonstrate her fitness and resiliency after battling injuries that has kept her on the sidelines for a big chunk of the last five years. The comeback kid is slowly climbing back up the international rankings following a bronze-medal finish at the Edmonton World Cup and a stellar sixth-place result on the toughest triathlon course in the world earlier this month in Kitzbuhel, Austria.
Germany’s Anne Haug brought the hometown crowd to its after pulling away from the field in the last 800 metres of the run to win the women’s race with a time of 57:21. Haug pulled ahead of two British athletes, who jumped onto the silver and bronze-medal steps of the podium. Non Stanford was second at 57:35, while Jodie Stimpson snagged third spot at 57:36.
Calgary’s Ellen Pennock was the only other Canadian in the women’s field, and finished 31st (59:13).
Canada’s Andrew York was just shy of chalking up a career-best result of his own in the men’s World Triathlon Series sprint race in Hamburg. After coming out of the water in the middle of the pack in the field of 58 athletes, Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., powered his way through to the chase pack on the bike, and hung on for 20h place at 52:43.
The top-three triathletes on the planet battled shoulder-to-shoulder in an electrifying pace in Germany. Taking turns at the front of the pack after exiting the water, Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee pulled away from the field with Spain’s Javier Gomez for the five-kilometre run. Running stride-for-stride, the Brownlee’s dropped Gomez in the push to the finish where the two brothers emptied the tank and lunged for the finish.
When the dust finally settled, it was the younger brother, Jonathan, who came out on top at 51:05. Alistair Brownlee was on his heels in second, also at 51:05; while Gomez settled for the bronze medal with a time of 51:14.
Two other Canadians also completed the sixth stop of the eight-race World Triathlon Series. Kyle Jones, of Oakville, Ont., was solid in 25th (53:03), while Victoria’s Andrew McCartney placed 42d (53:38).
Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medal sport since 2000 and Paralympic medal sport as of 2016, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com on the Internet.
Complete Results (750 metre swim, 20 kilometre bike, 5 kilometre run): www.triathlon.org Top-Five Women and Canadian Results: 1. Anne Haug, GER, 57:21; 2. Non Stanford, GBR, 57:35; 3. Jodie Stimpson, GBR, 57:36; 4. Andrea Hewitt, NZL, 57:40; 5. Ashleigh Gentle, AUS, 57:41 Other Canadian Results: 11. Sarah-Anne Brault, Winnipeg, 58:20; 15. Kirsten Sweetland, Victoria, 58:33; 31. Ellen Pennock, Calgary, 59:13.
Top-Five Men and Canadian Results: 1. Jonathon Brownlee, GBR, 51:05; 2. Alistair Brownlee, GBR, 51:05; 3. Javier Gomez, ESP, 51:14; 4. Richard Murray, RSA, 51:42; 5. Mario Mola, ESP, 51:46 Other Canadian Results: 20. Andrew Yorke, Caledon, Ont., 52:43; 25. Kyle Jones, Oakville, Ont., 53:03; 42. Andrew McCartney, Victoria, 53:38.