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TISZAUJVAROS, HUN—Canada’s Mathis Beaulieu celebrated his 18th birthday this week by winning his first major international triathlon race on one of the greatest stages in the sport on Sunday.

The 18-year-old Quebecer dusted the field to win the Europe Triathlon Junior Cup race in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary with a time of 36:25 in the 88-man field that battled over two days at the world-renowned race.

“It’s pretty fun to be able to get this first win (on the week of my birthday). I hope to get another podium next week in Tabor (Czech Republic),” said Beaulieu.

Chile’s Andree Buc was the next best finisher 13 seconds back in the silver-medal position, edging out Hungary’s Zalan Hobor who settled for third in the photo finish. Both athletes stopped the clock at 36:38.

Beaulieu, who won the Canadian Championships one week ago, qualified for Sunday’s final after winning his semifinal heat on Saturday. The hot prospect was solid in all three disciplines of the super sprint distance race that consists of a 500-metre swim, 12-kilometre bike and a 3.3-kilometre run.

“The first swim was pretty brutal, and everybody was pushing extremely hard on the bike so it made the race really hard, but when it came to the run I felt good and decided to push,” said Beaulieu.

The 21st Tiszy race boasts a unique format where athletes are divided into three semifinal heats held on Saturday. The top-nine athletes in each of the three men’s heats, followed by the next three fastest times, advanced to Sunday’s final. Beaulieu won his first national championship title one week ago in a similar format.

Fellow Quebecer, Alexandre Leblanc, was 23rd at 37:58. Nicolas Bolouri, of Dorval, Que., stopped the clock at 39:39 for 29th spot.

Montreal’s Clara Normand was the top Canuck in the junior women’s race. Normand clocked-in at 45:32 for 26th spot. Victoria’s Jamie Harker qualified for Sunday’s final, but did not finish the race, leaving her in 30th place overall. Quebec’s Shelby Lajeunesse was 42nd.

Hungary athletes celebrated the top-two spots on the junior women’s podium. Lili Dobi was first at 41:07. Romina Nadas ran to the silver medal at 41:14. Austria’s Tabea Huys grabbed the bronze medal with a time of 41:20.

Complete Results:

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Chris Dornan

Triathlon Canada

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