Canada's Mislawchuk 'super angry' after finishing 15th in men's triathlon
Manitoba triathlete had hopes for a medal; Victoria's Matthew Sharpe 49th in Olympic debut
Sometimes an athlete admits that they could give no more, that what happened during a race was the best they could offer.
That wasn't the case Monday in Tokyo for Canada's Tyler Mislawchuk. The Oak Bluff, Man., native finished 15th in the men's Olympic triathlon and his disappointment was apparent.
Mislawchuk appeared stunned after the race, one he came into with realistic hopes of winning a medal.
"I was no good on the run. Super angry with myself. Just didn't have today. Not sure what to say. Really disappointed," he said moments after crossing the finish line. "I wish I could have given people more.
"You train your whole life for this. I haven't been home in a year [because of training] and to come 15th is so frustrating."
The 26-year-old had every reason to believe he could have done better.
Less than a year ago, Mislawchuk took first place on this exact course, becoming the first Canadian in the 20 years since triathlon became an Olympic event to win the Olympic test event.
It was part of a breakout year that saw him win the first two World Cup races of his career in addition to capturing his first-ever World Triathlon Series medal by winning the bronze in Montreal.
Mislawchuk was unable to replicate that magic Monday in Tokyo in the sweltering heat, never really putting himself in a position to reach the podium.
Organizers started the race at 6:30 a.m. local time to avoid the midday heat, but it was still very warm as this ultimate test of endurance got underway. Racers navigated a course that snaked around Tokyo Bay with the iconic Rainbow Bridge as a backdrop.
Mislawchuk was ninth after the 1,500 metre swim and 16th after 40 kilometres on the bike. But he was unable to make up any ground during the grueling 10 kilometre run, finishing in one hour 46.28 seconds, 84 seconds behind Norway's Kristain Blummenfeldt , who blew away the field with a dominating performance. Alex Yee of Great Britain took while silver while New Zealand's Hayden Wilde claimed bronze.
"I had some cramping on the run and couldn't run as hard as I've trained," Mislawchuk said. "I couldn't run full gas, I just couldn't go any faster."
Mislawchuk was inspired to take up triathlon after watching fellow Canadian Simon Whitfield's silver-medal performance at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Whitfield won gold in Sydney 2000 in the sport's Olympic debut. Mislawchuk had worked feverishly over the past 18 months in hopes of repeating that iconic performance here in Tokyo.
It wasn't meant to be.
WATCH | Technology has helped Tyler Mislawchuk take hits training to the next level:
Joanna Brown of Carp, Ont., and Amelie Kretz of Blainville, Que., will race in the women's triathlon Tuesday morning.