Two-time Olympic medalist, Simon Whitfield, to lead strong Canadian team in 2010.

Two-time Olympic medalist, Simon Whitfield, to lead strong Canadian team in 2010.

By Fergus Murray on 20/01/10 at 4:47 pm

Canada’s high-performance triathletes are charging into the 2010 season replete with veteran leadership and podium potential.

Building on one of the most successful seasons for Canada’s senior-level athletes, Triathlon Canada named a stellar line up of 12 athletes that will don the maple leaf while competing in World Championship Series and development level races around the world.

Two-time Olympic medalist, Simon Whitfield, will lead a total of three Canadian men and four women that will make up Team Teck at World Championship Series events in 2010. The Victoria native, whose 2009 campaign was highlighted with a victory at the prestigious ITU Triathlon Elite Cup in Des Moines, Iowa, will be joined in men’s races by fellow Victoria resident Brent McMahon, who finished 18th in the 2009 Grand Final and Kyle Jones, of Oakville, Ont., who had a ninth-place finish at the Ishigaki World Cup to go along with this 25th-place finish at the Grand Final.

Canada will field a stellar line-up of elite women who all mounted the international podium in 2009. Vancouver’s Lauren Groves, who captured her first World Cup podium in Des Moines, Iowa, will lead the four Canucks. Groves will be joined by Montreal’s Kathy Tremblay who won a World Cup silver medal en route to finishing 13th overall on the World Championship Series. Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland, who posted two top-eight finishes on the World Championship Series along with a World Cup victory in Australia, will return for her fourth season on the elite team. Edmonton’s Paula Findlay, who won a bronze medal at the Under-23 World Championships, rounds out the women’s squad.

Triathlon Canada identified a talented pool of five athletes, including three men and two women, who will make up the 2010 National Development Team.

Victoria’s Andrew McCartney confirmed his spot on the development team with a third-place finish at the 2009 Under-23 PATCO Championships, and by winning the Canadian Championships. Connor Hammond, of London, Ont., returns to the national team after a strong season where he won the Canadian Junior Championships, and finished second at the Canada Games and PATCO Junior Championships. Victoria’s Jeff Phillips, who was the first-ever individual male winner at the Canada Games, rounds out the men’s development group.

Two young Victoria residents will represent Canada on the Development Team this year. Alison Hooper, who had a breakthrough rookie season competing in triathlon while winning gold at the Canada Games and Canadian Junior Championships, will form a one-two punch with Kyla Coates who was first at the 2009 PATCO Junior Championships.

While individual race plans for the 2010 season have developed for each of the national team athletes, triathlon’s World Championship Series kicks off April 11 in Sydney, Australia.

Release provided by Triathlon Canada.

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