For the first time Canada will field a full team of three men and three women at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Qualifying was finalised two months ago after the Vancouver BG Triathlon World Championships on June 8th. Simon Whitfield and Lauren Groves were the first two athletes to qualify for the national team based on 2007 results of a top-8 finish at a World Cup event and a top-16 result at the 2007 World Championships. Whitfield qualified directly with a fifth place finish at the Beijing test event last September. Groves qualified based on a 14th place finish at the 2007 BG Triathlon World Championships in Hamburg, Germany. Carolyn Murray, Kathy Tremblay, Colin Jenkins and Paul Tichelaar are the other four members of team Canada. They were awarded discretionary spots.
After struggling with injuries for a good part of 2008, Lauren Groves, 26, won the silver medal at the 2008 Mazatlan PATCO Pan American Championships and finished 13th at both the Tongyeong and Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cups. Groves also has a bronze medal from the 2007 Pan American Games. She reached a career-high world cup ranking of third after the 2006 Edmonton world cup and again after the 2006 world championships where she placed seventh and fourth respectively.
Carolyn Murray, 31, had the best race of her career at the Richards Bay BG Triathlon World Cup in South Africa this past May, finishing first to capture her first world cup title. The win allowed her to crack the top-10 of the world cup rankings. Murray also had a top-20 finish at the New Plymouth BG Triathlon World Cup this year and in 2007, she had three top-15 world cup performances. She finished 24th at the world championships in Vancouver in June.
Kathy Tremblay is the youngest of the Canadian women at 25 years of age and is the top-ranked Canadian in the world cup rankings with a fifth-place finish in Ishigaki, Japan in April and followed that up with a fourth-place performance at Richards Bay in May. Tremblay won her first World Cup medal in Mazatlan, Mexico in 2006 with bronze. The 2007 Canadian National Champion was also the top Canadian at the 2008 world championships.
The elite women’s race will go on Monday August 18 at 10am Beijing time. Click here for start times in your area
After solidifying his spot in 2007, Simon Whitfield has focused on Beijing racing sporadically in 2008. He won the gold medal at the Ishigaki BG Triathlon World Cup in April – the only world cup race he has competed in this year. At age 33, the veteran completed eight world cup races in 2007 and ended the year ranked second in the World Cup rankings. One of the sports icons with the second most world cup wins of any man, Whitfield his heart set on a second gold medal after winning the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. Whitfield finished 11th at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
Paul Tichelaar is the top Canadian man on the world cup rankings, thanks to top-8 performances at 2008 Mooloolaba, New Plymouth and Tongyeong BG Triathlon World Cups. He came in ninth at the world championships in Vancouver to solidify his nomination to the team. Tichelaar’s breakthrough in 2007 saw him post three top-8 world cup performances including a silver medal in Cancun.
Colin Jenkins had four top-20 world cup finishes in 2007, including at the Vancouver BG Triathlon World Cup where he finished in seventh place. Jenkins is an incredibly strong swimmer and cyclist and has been named to the team to help Whitfield’s efforts to the podium.
The men will line up on the Beijing pontoon at 10am (all times UTC/GMT +8 hours). Click here for start times in your area.
Log onto triathlon.org for live text updates and live timing if your national Olympic broadcaster is not airing the triathlon competitions live.
|Results: Elite Women|