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Canada’s Kathy Tremblay credited her first ITU World Cup win to a new mindset, after she ran away from the field at the 2012 Ishigaki ITU Triathlon World Cup in Japan on Sunday.
Tremblay was one of the first out of the water on the small Japanese island, rode in the lead pack of 23 for the seven-lap ride, before making her move out of T2. She quickly blew away the rest of the field, and went on to win by 20 seconds ahead of Ireland’s Aileen Morrison, her second consecutive silver medal in Ishigaki. Sarah-Anne Brault ensured it was a banner day for Canada, claiming bronze and her first trip to the World Cup podium.
“I just think I’m going to cry in five minutes from now when I’ve realised what happened today, because in 17 years that has never happened to me, but I guess you know nothing is taken for granted. If it happened today it’s because I worked really hard. I do have a lot of respect for all my competition because I know they do work as hard as me, but I guess today I was just able to put it all together,” said Tremblay.
“I owe a lot to my coach and my boyfriend, because without those two guys in my life I wouldn’t be here today. I’m really healthy in my mind and when you are well in your head, your body is well and we’ve been doing great training together. I just have fun, I play triathlon now instead of taking it too seriously, and it just seems to be working, so I’m really really happy,” said Tremblay.
The win also helped Tremblay’s own and Canada’s Olympic ambitions. After edging herself onto the Olympic simulation with 8th at the Sydney WTS, the points from the Ishigaki win should see her jump at least another 10 places on the Olympic qualification points list, which means Canada are now in a good position to send two women to London. Before Sydney, Canada only had one spot, the place qualified by Paula Findlay.
The 29-year-old led the field from the swim exit into T1, but 15 other women all emerged from the water within 16 seconds of each other, including Melanie Annaheim,, Kathrin Muller, Elizabeth Bravo and Brault, to make it a busy T1. The one notable who missed the pack was Ai Ueda, who was wearing the #1, and exited almost two minutes down from the leaders and faced a significant deficit.
From there, a few smaller packs merged into one leading group of 21. Over laps two and three out of seven, Annamaria Mazzetti and Chantell Widney closed a 30-second gap to make the leading pack 23. Behind them a group of four worked together, including Carlyn Fischer, Zsofia Kovacs, Tamsyn Moana-Veale and Marta Jimenez, but entered T2 a minute and a half down, while Ueda rode the entire 42km solo and started the run about three minutes behind the leaders.
Tremblay took control of the run from the very first lap, while behind her Morrison and Brault jostled for the other podium places. South Africa’s Gillian Sanders and Mazzetti also ran through the field, they couldn’t do enough to catch the two in front who went toe-to-toe for almost the entire 10km. It was Morrison’s second consecutive podium in Ishigaki, and she said a missed chance in T2 hurt her chances to win.
“I’m pleased with that, obviously disappointed I couldn’t have a chance at the gold medal but Kathy had an amazing race and she ran really well,” Morrison said. “She really put on that burst coming out of T2, I just wish I could have been up there with her and had a better chance, but I’m pleased with that.”
While Brault said a DNF in Sydney last week—after she rode two laps with only one bike shoe—had motivated her for Ishigaki.
“I didn’t really know how this would turn out it’s a bit of an off field with European championships this weekend but I had raced against a few of thsese girls before and I just knew I had to get a good swim,” she said. “I raced Sydney last weekend and it didn’t really turn out, I had a technical and I didn’t finish so it kind of fuelled the fire for this weekend.”
Sanders finished just off the podium in fourth, her best World Cup result, while Mazzetti rounded out the top five. Reigning Youth Olympic Games gold medallist Yuka Sato was tops for the home team, finishing in sixth place.
In other notable results, Ueda eventually caught the field and ran past six to finish 23rd.