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—Emy Legault places 21st, Martin Sobey 22nd in Olympic distance races—

YOKOHAMA, Jpn.—Canada’s Paratriathletes sprinted into the 2022 season with a double-medal performance on Saturday in Yokohama, Japan.

Jessica Tuomela (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.) and her guide Emma Skaug (Victoria) climbed onto the silver-medal step of the women’s visually impaired podium – a result which was also matched by Winnipegger Leanne Taylor. 

Tuomela and Skaug battled through the heavy rain throughout the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre bike course and five-kilometre to clock a finishing time of 1:10:38.

“I am really happy with today’s race. It was tough conditions out there for everyone,” said Tuomela, who teamed up with Skaug following her fifth-place finish at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. “Emma and I raced hard and worked well together. It was a huge learning race for us since this is only the second time that we have raced together. She is incredibly strong on the bike and that is so exciting! I can’t wait to see what we can do in the upcoming season.”

Spain’s Susana Rodriguez won the classification with a time of 1:05:30.

Leanne Taylor also got the new Paralympic quadrennial off to a medal-winning start in the women’s wheelchair classification. Racing through a steady downpour, Taylor stopped the clock at 1:13:26 for second place.

“The wet conditions definitely had me a bit nervous about this race. I had a strong swim and did my best to hold as much ground as I could on the bike,” said Taylor who was just over a minute behind second place while heading onto the run course. “It was a pretty big gap to close, but the run is where I feel the most comfortable and also where I feel the most joy so I put my head down and did what I love to do (push hard in the racer). I’m happy to be taking home a silver medal and to be improving each time I get out there.”

Margret Ijdema, of The Netherlands, clocked the winning time at 1:11:33. Brazil’s Jessica Ferreira rounded out the podium with a time of 1:13:49.

Complete World Triathlon Para Series Yokohama Results:

Emy Legault 21st and Martin Sobey 22nd in World Triathlon Championship Series

Canada’s Emy Legualt (L’Île Perrot, Que.) and Martin Sobey (Charlottetown) both finished in the middle of the field in their first World Triathlon Championship Series race of the season in Yokohama.

The 26-year-old Legault was steady in all three disciplines of the Olympic distance test, finishing in 21st at 1:57:42.

Georgia Taylor-Brown, of Great Britain, was first across the line in a time of 1:51:44. Leonie Periault, of France, placed second at 1:51:50, while Bermuda’s Flora Duffy snagged the bronze medal at 1:51:55.

A trio of Canadian men were in the podium hunt in the elite men’s field until the 10-kilometre run that finally stretched out the pack.

When the dust settled at the finish, Martin Sobey was lone Canadian to cross the finish line. The 25-year-old stopped the clock at 1:45:40 for 22nd place. 

Two-time Olympian, Tyler Mislawchuk from Oak Bluff, Man., and Charles Paquet (Port Cartier, Que.) were both in the large pack of lead riders glued together for the nine-lap technical bike course. The Canucks held strong until throughout the swim and bike but cramped up on the run through the streets of the Japanese port city and did not finish the race.

Alex Yee completed the golden sweep for Great Britain in the first of the seven-race World Triathlon Championship Series in 2022. Yee finished with a time of 1:43:30.

Hayden Wilde, of New Zealand, was 10 seconds back at 1:43:40. Leo Bergere, of France, placed third at 1:43:59.

The next stop in the top triathlon race series is scheduled for June 11-12 in Leeds, United Kingdom.

Complete WTCS Results:

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Chris Dornan

Triathlon Canada

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