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Canadian triathletes race to top-5 finishes at Commonwealth Games tuneup

Canadian triathletes Tyler Mislawchuk and Matt Sharpe recorded top-five World Cup finishes on Sunday in their final tuneup race before the Commonwealth Games.

'This is a great sign of things to come,' says Mislawchuk

Canada's Tyler Mislawchuk raced to a career-best fourth place, missing the podium by one second, at the Triathlon World Cup on Sunday. (@newplymouthwc/Instagram)

Canadian triathletes Tyler Mislawchuk and Matt Sharpe recorded top-five World Cup finishes on Sunday in their final tuneup race before the Commonwealth Games.

Mislawchuk, from Oak Bluff, Man., raced to a career-best fourth place, missing the podium by one second.

"I showed up today to win and came up a little short, but I'm super happy with the effort put forward," Mislawchuk said. "This is a great sign of things to come in two weeks time [at the Commonwealth Games] on the Gold Coast."

Victoria's Sharpe finished one spot back in fifth.

"I'm super happy with my race today. I was able to finally compete in all three disciplines," he said. "My prevailing swim stroke helped me come out of the water in fourth place, and from there I just tried to be as tactical as possible on the bike and stay safe for the run."

The two Canadians came out of the 750-metre swim at Ngamotu Beach near the front of the pack where they settled into a group of nine riders on the bike. With Australia's Ryan Bailie breaking away during the 20-kilometre ride, Mislawchuk and Sharpe helped control the chase group to set themselves up for a run at the podium.

Aggressive approach pays off

"Coming off the bike I tried to be aggressive in transition. We quickly formed a large pack in the first kilometre onto the run and then I just tried to hang on for dear life," Sharpe said. "Tyler, and our training partner Kevin McDowell, really pushed the pace at the end and I was really on the ropes.

"A few hundred metres from the line I was sitting in fifth and tried to push for the podium, but I just couldn't make up the gap. It was a proper race today with nobody giving an inch."

Australia's Declan Wilson crossed in 58:20 for the victory. Sam Ward of New Zealand won the silver in 58:22, while American Matthew McElroy took third (58:24).

Amelie Kretz of Blainville, Que., posted her second-straight top-10 finish, finishing eighth.

"It wasn't my best start as I face planted running into the water, but I worked hard to make my way back to the front in the swim and I got out of the water in the back end of the lead group," said Kretz.

American Kirsten Kasper won the gold, Nicole Van Der Kaay of New Zealand claimed silver, while Claire Michel of Belgium was third.

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