Rio 2016 will usher in a new era of Canadian Olympic triathletes.
Five first-time Olympians will represent Team Canada at Rio’s Fort Copacabana, Triathlon Canada announced on Wednesday. Kirsten Sweetland, Amelie Kretz and Sarah-Anne Brault will compete on the women’s side while Tyler Mislawchuk and Andrew Yorke will take part in the men’s event.
Sweetland has been competing on the world scene for a decade, becoming the first Canadian woman to win a world junior title in 2006. The 27-year-old was an alternate for Canada at Beijing 2008 and, after missing out on the London 2012 team, won silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The second-place finish in Glasgow came just a few weeks after Sweetland become the second Canadian woman to reach the podium of a World Triathlon Series event, finishing third in Hamburg.
Kretz had the best World Triathlon Series finish of her career this year, finishing eighth in Yokohama. The 23-year-old has reached two ITU World Cup podiums, placing first in 2013 in Edmonton and second in 2015 in Mooloolaba. The Triathlon Canada elite junior of the year in 2012, Kretz won bronze at the 2013 under-23 world championship in London.
Rounding out the women’s trio is Brault, who was an alternate at London 2012. The Quebec native has finished in the top 15 of six different World Triathlon Series events, including a fourth place finish in Auckland in 2014. She’s won two World Cup medals, winning a silver (Edmonton) and a bronze (Ishigaki) in 2012.
Both Yorke and Mislawchuk participated in the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, finishing seventh and 10th, respectively.
RELATED: Triathlon at the Olympic Games
Yorke had a breakthrough performance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he just missed the podium by placing fourth. The 27-year-old has seven top-20 finishes in the World Triathlon Series, including an eighth place finish in 2015.
Mislawchuk finished in the top 10 at two of the three World Triathlon Series events he participated in this year, placing 10th in both Yokohama and Abu Dhabi. The 21-year-old has had a strong career on the junior circuit, including an eighth-place finish at the 2014 under-23 world championships.
RELATED: Olympic Games at Rio 2016
Brault, Kretz and Mislawchuk will compete in the three World Triathlon Series events leading up to Rio 2016, starting this coming weekend in Stockholm, while Yorke will participate in two. Sweetland plans to race in the World Cup event in Montreal in early August.
The men’s triathlon will take place on August 18 at Fort Copacabana while the women’s race will be on August 20.