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—Amelie Kretz finishes 33rd after strong swim and bike—

YOKOHAMA, Jpn—Joanna Brown put down a solid effort in her first elite triathlon race in more than 15 months, finishing 13th at the World Triathlon Championship Series in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday.

The 28-year-old Brown clocked an overall time of 1:56:09 in the three-sport discipline.

Brown battled back into the elite group after a difficult 1.5-kilometre swim in the Yokohama harbour. The hard-nosed cyclist from Carp, Ont. wasted no time scrapping her way back into the lead pack on the bike after coming out of T1 in 31st spot.

Brown, along with teammate Amelie Kretz, settled into a large pack of 30 riders that formed on the second of eight laps on the bike as American Taylor Knibbs and Maya Kingma bolted away from the field.

Tactically working their way within the large pack through the remainder of the 40-kilometre technical bike course, Brown and Kretz, of Blainville, Que., both charged out of T2 for the 10-kilometre run in the top-20, two-minutes behind the frontrunners.

Brown, who has one podium on the elite triathlon circuit in her career, picked up four spots after two laps while steadily striding through the streets of the Japanese port city.

Poised to represent Canada at the Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, Brown picked up one more spot on the field before crossing the finish line. Amelie Kretz, who had a top-10 swim and was 14th heading onto the run, placed 33rd at 1:58:31.

After dusting the field on the bike course, it appeared to be a two-woman foot race for the top spot on the podium between American Knibbs and Kingma from The Netherlands. Knibbs threw down the gauntlet to the world on the run, dropping Kingma and bolting to her first World Triathlon Championship Series victory with a time of 1:54:27.

Starting the run more than two minutes behind the leaders, Summer Rappaport of the United States put down the run of the day to lock up the silver medal with a time of 1:54:57. After getting passed by Rappaport early in the final lap of the 10-kilometre run, Kingma held on for her first World Triathlon Championship Series podium, placing third with a time of 1:55:05.

The Yokohama race is the first in the eight-race World Triathlon Championship Series in 2021. No Canadians were on the start line for the men’s race. The next stop in the top triathlon race series is scheduled for June 5-6 in Leeds, United Kingdom.

Complete WTCS Results:

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Triathlon Canada

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