Courtesy Triathlon Canada
TORONTO (July 7, 2021) – Four athletes rich with multi-sport games experience have been nominated by Triathlon Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee to represent Team Canada in triathlon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Joanna Brown (Carp, Ont.), Amélie Kretz (Blainville, Que.), Tyler Mislawchuk (Oak Bluff, Man.) and Matt Sharpe (Victoria, B.C.) qualified for Team Canada based on meeting the criteria outlined in Triathlon Canada’s Internal Nominations Policy. Canada had earned two Olympic berths for each gender via the World Triathlon Individual Olympic Qualification Ranking. Kretz and Mislawchuk will each make their second Olympic appearance.
Mislawchuk became the first Canadian in the 20-year history of triathlon on the Olympic program to win the Olympic Test Event. The 26-year-old’s victory in Tokyo in August 2019 capped off a breakthrough season where he won the first two World Cup races of his career before going on to capture his first-ever World Triathlon Series medal by winning the bronze in Montreal.
“I am so happy and honoured to be named to Team Canada with three other athletes who I have grown up with and developed alongside in this sport. I’ve trained with Jo, Matt and Amélie all at different points in my career so it will be awesome for the four of us to represent Canada in Tokyo together,” said Mislawchuk, who also won at a World Cup stop in Huatulco, Mexico in June 2021. “Tokyo has been on my mind for a long time now. I’m chasing a performance in Tokyo that I can look back at in 20 years and be extremely proud of.”
Inspired to take up triathlon after watching Simon Whitfield’s silver-medal performance at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, Mislawchuk will toe the line in the individual men’s race on July 26 (Day 3) with his friend and teammate, Matt Sharpe, who will make his Olympic debut. The 29-year-old Sharpe, who has a handful of top-10 finishes on the World Cup throughout his career, represented Canada at the 2018 Commonwealth Games where he was a part of the fourth-place squad in the mixed team relay.
“I am honoured to compete for Canada in Tokyo. Since I was a kid, it has been a dream of mine to wear the maple leaf at the Olympic Games. I look forward to helping Canada bring home a medal and inspiring our nation to move and chase their own dreams in life,” said Sharpe.
Joanna Brown and Amélie Kretz will first take to the start pontoon for the women’s individual race on July 27 (Day 4) in Tokyo.
The 28-year-old Brown – a bronze medallist at the Under-23 World Championships and Junior World Championships – is just the fourth Canadian triathlete ever to win a Commonwealth Games medal, taking the bronze in 2018. In 2019, she etched her name in the history books as just the third Canadian ever to reach the podium on the World Triathlon Series, winning bronze in Bermuda.
“I have earned this nomination through years of focus and determination, and the support of my family, friends, coach and sponsors,” said Brown. “I am excited to line up against the best in the world and to show my gratitude to those who have supported me by racing with everything I’ve got for my team and for Canada.”
Kretz, also 28, has earned her second trip to the Olympic Games. She competed at Rio 2016 following a career-best eighth-place finish on the World Triathlon Series in Yokohama in 2016. A bronze medallist at the Under-23 World Championships, Kretz has developed into one of Canada’s top female triathletes and has gone on to win two World Cup medals.
“I’m honoured to represent Canada at my second Olympic Games. Not a lot of people can say that they’ve earned the opportunity to toe the line at two Games. A lot of hard work has gone into this, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible support from my coach, physio, sport psych, provincial federation, sponsors, family and friends,” said Kretz.
The individual events will follow the traditional Olympic triathlon distance – 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run.
The four Canadians will then team up for the Olympic debut of the team mixed relay on July 31 (Day 8).
The triathlon team mixed relay is a fast and furious spectator-friendly format that showcases racing at its best through pure team spirit. Each athlete must complete a super-sprint triathlon – 300m swim, 6.8km bike and 2km run – before tagging off to a teammate.
Canada has two Olympic medals in triathlon. Simon Whitfield won gold when the sport debuted at Sydney 2000. Whitfield also won the silver medal at Beijing 2008.
“Since Simon Whitfield won gold in the first Olympic triathlon, I’ve kind of just assumed that this is a sport Canadians are really good at,” said Team Canada’s Tokyo 2020 Chef de Mission, Marnie McBean. “Tyler and the other athletes racing for Canada seem set to keep my assumptions based on fact. How great is that!”
The athlete and coaches nominated are:
Joanna Brown (Carp, Ont.)
Amélie Kretz (Blainville, Que.)
Tyler Mislawchuk (Oak Bluff, Man.)
Matt Sharpe (Victoria, B.C.)
Marc Antoine Christin (Montreal, Que.)
Kyla Rollinson (Montreal, Que.)
Prior to being named to Team Canada, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Organizations.
Josh Su, Specialist, Public Relations
Canadian Olympic Committee