Apr 10, 2011


April 10, 2010

Canada’s Paula Findlay Wins Gold at Season-Opener of Triathlon World Championship Series in Australia
—Lauren (Groves) Campbell fights through crash on bike to finish 10th—

SYDNEY, Aus.—Canada’s Paula Findlay executed the opening race of the 2011 ITU Triathlon World Championship series to perfection by winning gold in Sydney, Australia on Sunday.

The 21-year-old Findlay, who enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2010 by winning her first two World Championship Series Races ever, captured number three on the same course Simon Whitfield struck his historic Olympic gold in 2000. Findlay sprinted ahead of the field to the finish to post a winning time of two hours, one minute, 21 seconds (2:01.21).

“This is amazing. It was unexpected again, but really exciting and so cool,” said Findlay, who finished fourth in last weekend’s World Cup race in Mooloolaba, Australia. “My contact fell out again so I raced half the day blinded so I think I need laser eye surgery or something. I didn’t feel comfortable until the run, but I held on and I am very happy.”

The red-headed Edmontonian was one of 66 women to dive into the waters of Farm Cove in the spectacular Sydney Harbour. Following the 1.5-kilometre swim, Findlay stayed out of trouble and avoided a any crashes while completing eight laps on the five-kilometre bike loop highlighted by stretches down the hilly Macquarie Street and the Cahill Expressway.

After a difficult second transition in front of the Sydney Opera House, Findlay bridged the gap with the lead pack of six athletes in the first lap of the 10-kilometre run. Dropping three athletes in the lead group, Findlay raced stride-for-stride with Chile’s Barbara Riveros Diaz and New Zealand’s Andrea Hewitt into the bell lap. Findlay and Riveros Diaz pulled away from Hewitt with 600-metres to go, and raced alongside each other until the final 300-metres where the young Canuck pulled ahead, and sprinted down the finishing stretch to the gold medal.

“There were so many surges and girls running from the back up the hills. Those girls pushed me the whole way today. I wasn’t expecting to be able to outsprint Barbara today,” said Findlay, who has been training in Australia over the last month with coach Patrick Kelly. “She is so fit right now. I hung on as long as I could and was able to pull it out. I’m so thrilled.”

Riveros Diaz settled for the silver with a time of 2:01.24, while Hewitt rounded out the women’s podium in the bronze medal position at 2:01.29.

“Paula had a really good block of training on the sunshine coast in Caloundra leading into this race, and has good early season form,” said Patrick Kelly, coach of Paula Findlay. “She still has lots of work ahead of her and will continue to work to get faster as will the other women. This is a fantastic start.”

Findlay’s third World Championship Series victory continues a stellar start to her young career where she has competed in just four races on the elite triathlon circuit. After winning back-to-back in the first two races last year on the 2012 Olympic course in London, followed byKitzbuhel, Austria, Findlay wrapped up 2010 by finishing fifth in the GrandFinal in Budapest, Hungary last September. Findlay now trails Australia’s Emma Moffat, who has a total of four victories all-time on the World Championship Series winner’s list.

“Training has been going really well and I’m feeling good, but I still didn’t expect this,” said Findlay. “I have to keep training well. It’s a long season and I have to keep training well, but it is nice to get a win early. I think is important because it tells me I’m at the same level as I was last year.”

Three other Canadians also suited up for the season opener. Vancouver’s Lauren (Groves) Campbell kicked off her season with a 10th-place finish. The 2008 Olympian fought back after getting tangled up in a crash on the bike to get her way back into the top-10 with a time of 2:02.43. Montreal’s Kathy Tremblay finished 34th. Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland crashed on the bike and did not finish the race.

Created in 2009, the ITU World Championship Series is an innovative series that has the world’s best triathletes to compete in eight races around the world. Starting in Sydney, athletes will also compete in Japan, Spain, Austria, Germany, England and Switzerland before the Grand Final in Beijing. The next stop of the series is slated for May 14 in Yokohoma, Japan.

Triathlon Canada is the governing body for triathlon in the country. Recognized as an Olympic medalsport since 2000, Triathlon Canada’s mandate is to promote, foster, organize and develop the sport of triathlon, and its related disciplines, in Canada. For more information on Triathlon Canada, please visit us at www.triathloncanada.com on the Internet.

Complete World Championship Series Results (1.5 km swim, 40 km bike, 10 km run): www.triathlon.org
Top-Five Women’s and Canadian Results:
1. Paula Findlay, Edmonton, CAN, 2:01.21; 2. Barbara Riveros Diaz, CHI, 2:01.24; 3. Andrea Hewitt, NZL,2:01.29; 4. Carole Peon, FRA, 2:01.39; 5. Tomoko Sakimoto, JPN, 2:01.49. 
Other Canadian Results:
10. Lauren (Groves) Campbell, Vancouver, 2:02.43; 34. Kathy Tremblay, Montreal;
DNF. Kirsten Sweetland, Victoria.
Chris Dornan
Media and Public Relations
Triathlon Canada
T: 281-703-4394

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