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Canada's Kyle Jones, Tyler Mislawchuk open triathlon world series in top-10

Canada's triathlon veteran Kyle Jones beat rookie Tyler Mislawchuk to round out the top-10 at the first race of the triathlon world series.

Spain's Mario Mola wins Abu Dhabi for 2nd straight year

Canadian Kyle Jones, left, started the triathlon season with a top-10 finish to bolster his hopes of qualifying for the Rio Olympics. (John Ulan/The Canadian Press)

Kyle Jones and Tyler Mislawchuk are making a strong case to join the Canadian Olympic triathlon team at the Rio Olympics.

The 31-year-old Jones, of Oakville, Ont., posted the second best result of this career, coming in ninth with a time of one hour, 47 minutes and 44 seconds at the Abu Dhabu triathlon on Saturday. 

"Coming into the race, I was focused on a top-eight [Olympic qualifier] result. I came just short of that, but it shows the form is good, and I'm excited for what lies ahead this year," said Jones, who is hoping to make his second Olympic appearance.

"The weather conditions today were very similar to what we can expect in Rio, so to perform well in the heat is a good sign," Jones said.

Jones earned two World Cup silver medals in 2015. 

Rookie Mislawchuk, from Oak Bluff, Man., matched his career-best finish coming in close behind Jones in 10th.

Mario Mola of Spain overcame a 10-second penalty to win the triathlon for a second straight year, while Jodie Stimpson of Britain won her first world series race since 2014.

Mola came out of the swim leg near the back, then was penalized in the transition for equipment outside the box. The 40-kilometre cycle leg brought the field together, and Mola hit the front in the run on the first lap.

After gaining a 10-second lead with Richard Murray of South Africa, Joao Silva of Portugal, and Fernando Alarza of Spain, Mola decided to take his penalty. He caught them back within a kilometre, and led to the end of the season-opener.

Murray was second, 15 seconds behind, and Silva third, 29 seconds back.

Stimpson didn't make her break until the final lap of the run, and won by nine seconds against Ashleigh Gentle of Australia, who had a slow swim but the fastest cycle. Stimpson's teammate, Helen Jenkins, was third, 16 seconds off the pace.

With files from the Associated Press

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