Canada's Kyle Jones feels his performance at the triathlon world championships is a strong foundation for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The 28-year-old from Oakville, Ont., was the top Canadian in 19th spot after posting a time of one hour 50 minutes six seconds in the men's elite Grand Final of the World Triathlon Series on Sunday under brutally wet and cold conditions in London's Hyde Park.
"When it is this cold, you just feel like you are running on stumps, but it is the same for everybody — some are able to respond differently to the conditions," said Jones. "This is the race were it counted all year, in a non-Olympic year. Obviously I wanted to equal or better my result [ninth place] from last year, but given the depth of the field and the importance of the race, I can't be too disappointed."
Jones was in decent position in the chase pack after the 1.5-kilometre swim in London's Serpentine, but with the talent as strong as it is at the international level, seconds become costly positions on the leaderboard.
Spain's Javier Gomez and Great Britain's Jonathon Brownlee controlled the front pack for the 750-metre swim in the Serpentine located in the middle of Hyde Park. The two Olympic medallists worked the lead group on the 40-kilometre bike course which winds past many of London's historic landmarks. The title came down to a sprint finish in the 10-kilometre run.
Gomez came out on top with a winning time of 1:48:16. Brownlee was second at 1:48:17. Jones' training partner, Mario Mola from Spain, ran to the bronze-medal step of the podium with a time of 1:49:10.
"Priority one was always the training, and to train at a different level this year. It is not an excuse. My training has gone up a level. I am toe-to-toe with Mario [Mola] everyday in training so now I need to find a way to demonstrate that training on race day," said Jones, who has had an up-and-down season following making his Olympic debut on the London course one year ago."
Two other Canadians also hit the start line for Sunday's Grand Final. Andrew Yorke of Caledon, Ont., placed 42nd (1:51:46), while Victoria's Andrew McCartney placed 55th at 1:55:37.