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Mislawchuk leads Canadian contingent heading into Montreal triathlon

Ashleigh Gentle is looking to repeat her performance at last year's Montreal triathlon, minus the bout of laryngitis. The Australian overcame a nasty sore throat to win the women's ITU World Series event in 2017 and is back to defend her title on Saturday.

CBC Sports will be streaming event live beginning on Saturday at 1:35 p.m. ET

Tyler Mislawchuk, seen here at the Rio Olympics, is looking to improve on a 33rd-place finish a year ago. (Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Ashleigh Gentle is looking to repeat her performance at last year's Montreal triathlon, minus the bout of laryngitis.

The Australian overcame a nasty sore throat to win the women's ITU World Series event in 2017 and is back to defend her title on Saturday on the same course in Montreal's Old Port district.

The event will be streamed live on CBCSports.ca beginning on Saturday at 1:35 p.m. ET with the women's competition and at the same time on Sunday for the men's competition.

"The doctor said it wasn't dangerous to start and I went with the attitude that I had nothing to lose," Gentle said Thursday. "It was a massive turning point in my career. Mentally, I learned a lot from that race."

Gentle isn't among the favourites this year, having dropped to 13th in World Series standings despite a second-place finish last month in Edmonton, but she seems to like the Olympic distance course, which starts with a 1.5 kilometre swim in the St. Lawrence River followed by 40 kilometres of cycling and a 10-kilometre run along a pier and through the streets of Old Montreal.

Mislawchuk leads Canadian contingent

The men run the same course on Sunday.

Canadian women in the field include Joanna Brown of Ottawa and Ste-Agathe-Des-Monts, Que., native Amelie Kretz.

On the men's side, Spain's Mario Mola has a commanding lead toward a third world title. With second-place Vincent Luis of France not competing, Mola cannot be overtaken and would need to finish out of the points to leave any chance for third-place Jacob Birtwhistle to catch him in the season-ending Gold Coast event in his native Australia next month.

Mola is coming off his third win of the season in Edmonton. Another contender is Kristian Blummenfelt of Norway, who was second in Montreal last year to Spaniard Javier Gomez Noya.

Tyler Mislawchuk of Winnipeg, who was fourth in Yokohama in May, is looking to improve on a 33rd-place finish a year ago.

Montreal still new to triathlon circuit

Montreal got onto the international triathlon circuit with a lower-level event in 2016 and was promoted to the World series last year. In 2019, it will switch to sprint distances — a 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre cycle and five-kilometre run — and both the men's and women's races will be held on June 29.

It will also move to another area in the Old Port because the current spot is taken by a Cirque du Soleil tent at that time.

Event organizer Patrice Brunet said the move will accommodate Tokyo, which will hold an August test event next year ahead of the 2020 Olympics.

Montreal is hoping to land the sprint distance world championship in 2021.

With files from CBC Sports

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