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Canada’s Kathy Tremblay scores debut World Cup victory in Ishigaki
Canada's Kathy Tremblay claimed a break through ITU World Cup win in Japan on Sunday.
In the 17th consecutive year of the ITU World Cup event on this Japanese island, Tremblay claimed her first World Cup gold ahead of Ireland's Aileen Morrison.
Tremblay's teammate Sarah-Anne Brault made it two Canadians on the podium.
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Canada's Kathy Tremblay credited her first ITU World Cup win to a new mindset, and a stellar run that saw her surge away from the field. Tremblay was one of the first out of the water on the small Japanese island, rode in the lead pack of 23 for the seven-lap ride, before making her move out of T2. She quickly blew away the rest of the field, and went on to win by 20 seconds ahead of Morrison, who claimed her second consecutive silver medal in Ishigaki. Brault ensured it was a banner day for Canada, claiming bronze and her first trip to the World Cup podium.
Tremblay said a different focus to racing had helped her brilliant start to 2012, where an 8th place in Sydney and the Ishigaki win have put her firmly back in the Olympics frame.
"I just think I'm going to cry in five minutes from now when I've realised what happened today, because in 17 years that has never happened to me, but I guess you know nothing is taken for granted. If it happened today it's because I worked really hard. I do have a lot of respect for all my competition because I know they do work as hard as me, but I guess today I was just able to put it all together," said Tremblay.
At the start, the 29-year-old led the field from the swim exit into T1, but 15 other women all emerged from the water within 16 seconds of each other, including Melanie Annaheim, Kathrin Muller, Elizabeth Bravo and Brault, to make it a busy T1. The one notable who missed the pack was Ai Ueda, who was wearing the #1, and exited almost two minutes down from the leaders and faced a significant deficit. From there, a few smaller packs merged into one leading group of 21. Over laps two and three out of seven, Annamaria Mazzetti and Chantell Widney closed a 30-second gap to make the leading pack 23.
Tremblay took control of the run from the very first lap, while behind her Morrison and Brault jostled for the other podium places. South Africa's Gillian Sanders and Mazzetti also ran through the field, they couldn't do enough to catch the two in front who went toe-to-toe for almost the entire 10km. It was Morrison's second consecutive podium in Ishigaki, Sanders finished just off the podium in fourth, her best World Cup result, while Mazzetti rounded out the top five. Reigning Youth Olympic Games gold medallist Yuka Sato was tops for the home team, finishing in sixth place. In other notable results, Ueda eventually caught the field and ran past six to finish 23rd.