‘Parade marshal’ Jones leads Canucks


triathlockup_onwhtA talented group of 15 rising Canadian triathlon stars will return to the 2012 Olympic course in London, England where they will embark on a mission for excellence at the Grand Final of the ITU World Championship Series, Sept. 11-15.

Oakville’s Kyle Jones, who made his Olympic debut in London where he was the top Canadian, will lead five members into the showcase event on the international triathlon calendar. The 28-year-old Jones captured a silver medal at the Edmonton World Cup earlier this summer. Jones will be joined by two young Canadian teammates on the men’s start line – Andrew Yorke, of Caledon, Ont., and Victoria’s Andrew McCartney.

Yorke, 24, has been picking his way up the international standings, while McCartney, 25, posted a career-best seventh place finish at the season-opening World Triathlon Series race in Yokohama, Japan.

Victoria’s Kirsten Sweetland and Winnipeg’s Sarah-Anne Brault will look to be in the medal mix for the Canadian women. Sweetland has been on a comeback trail since being injured for most of the past five years. The 24-year-old fed off a bronze-medal finish at the Edmonton World Cup to place sixth at the punishing World Triathlon Series race in Kitzbuhel, Austria last month.

Brault will help form a dynamic one-two punch for the Canadian women. The 23-year-old heads into the Grand Final after posting a career-best 11th place on the World Triathlon Series in Hamburg, Germany.

Triathlon Canada will send a strong mix of three women and two men for the under-23 competitions in London. A trio of 20-year-old Canadian women including Amelie Kretz (Blainville, Que.), Calgary’s Ellen Pennock, and Joanna Brown, of Carp, Ont., are sure to be in the hunt for the medals in London. Kretz won her first World Cup race in Edmonton this summer, where Pennock celebrated her first World Cup silver medal. A two-time medallist at the Grand Final in the junior and under-23 categories, Brown, will look for her first World Championship title.

Canada will be represented by Alexander Hinton, of Kingston, Ont., and Victoria’s Matt Sharpe in men’s under-23 racing.

The nation will also send five juniors to London including three men and two women. Winnipeg’s Tyler Mislawchuk will lead Quebecers, Xavier Grenier-Talavera and Alexis Lepage, to the main event. Saskatoon’s Gabrielle Edwards and Emy Legault, of Ile Perrot, Que., will make their World Championship debut for the Canadian women.

For a complete schedule of the ITU Grand Final in London, please visit www.triathlon.org.