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Legault lands on first World Triathlon Cup podium

HUATULCO, Mexico — Canada’s Emy Legault may have shocked the field, but not herself, after running to her first World Triathlon Cup podium on Saturday in Huatulco, Mexico.

The 26-year-old from IIle Perrot, Que., soared to the silver medal with a time of 1:00:14 in a thrilling sprint distance race.

“This feels quite amazing,” said Canada’s top-ranked women’s triathlete. “At first I couldn’t believe it, but it is starting to soak in now so I’m pretty happy.”

Germany’s Annika Koch won her first World Cup race with a time of 1:00:02. Italy’s Bianca Seregni was forced to settle for the bronze medal after a sprint finish with Legault to determine the final two spots on the women’s podium.

A determined Legault was well placed in the water until things got rough with the 55-woman field jockeying for position around the first buoy. But Legault continued to battle into the top-10 where she exited the 750-metre swim, 30 seconds behind the lead pace.

The Canuck quickly picked up four spots on the field while charging out of first transition and onto the first of the four-lap bike course in the blistering hot and humid conditions.

Legault and Koch went stride-for-stride for the first half of the five-kilometre run with the Canadian out front heading onto the second lap. But it was Koch who pulled away on the final lap, leaving Legault and Seregni battling over the final two laps for the silver and bronze medals.

“One of the Canadian coaches was there just cheering and telling me to stay with her so I tried as hard as I could, but then I heard people cheering for the athletes behind us so I thought they were coming so I just went as hard as I could. I didn’t want to miss the podium,” said Legault.

 Other Canadian results included Dominika Jamnicky, of Guelph, Ont., placing 11th at 1:00:55; and Toronto’s Kira Bupta-Baltazar, who was second in the swim before experiencing a crash on the bike, finished 39th with a time of 1:04:32.  Brittany Warly did not finish.

The men’s race World Triathlon Cup race is set for Sunday in Huatulco where Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk is the two-time defending champion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2022

The Canadian Press

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