Vancouver- based triathlete Claire Robinson had a stellar 2016 – she finished in the top two for her age- group in all of her races and claimed second place at the ITU Long Distance World Championships.
Robinson, 21, grew up in Toronto. She began racing in Kids of Steel events when she went along to triathlons to watch her father compete. Through high- school, Robinson would race two or three triathlons a year, as well as playing field hockey, ultimate frisbee and running cross- country.
It wasn’t until she moved to Vancouver and started at the University of British Columbia, that Robinson really started taking triathlon seriously.
“I trained all my first year and then went back home to Ontario for the summer and I think I won [my age-group at] every race that I did.” says Robinson. “I was like, ‘ I really enjoy
After qualifying for, then competing in, Rio, Manitoba’s Mislawchuk, 22, finished 15th at the Games and ended up 15th in the ITU world rankings, making him Canada’s future hope in both ITU and Olympic racing. Other highlights this year included a seventh-place finish at the prestigious ITU WTS race in Hamburg and two 10th-place finishes at the WTS events in Abu Dhabi and Yokohama.
With her 34th in Rio, Kretz signalled that she’ll be one to watch over the next quadrennial. Highlights for the 23-year- old from St-agathe-des-monts, Que. included a runner-up finish at the Malmo ETU Sprint Triathlon European Cup and an eighth at WTS Yokohama.
A silver medal at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final nailed this title for Paquet, 19, but he had more than a few other top results to back that up. The native of Port- Cartier, Que. took the national championship in Ottawa and also took the West Des Moins CAMTRI Junior Championship.
The 17-year- old ripped up the Canadian junior scene this year, taking the national championship in style and following that up with a big win in the junior event at the Montreal World Cup. She followed that up with a sixthplace finish in Cozumel at the ITU Grand Final. What’s really frightening (for the rest of her competition) is she has two more years of junior racing ahead of her.
Anyone who saw Blecher’s wire-to-wire win in Montreal this year would agree that the 19-year- old from Port Hope, Ont. should at least be in the discussion when it came to Triathlete of the Year. He finished sixth at the ITU Grand Final in Cozumel.
A silver medal at the inaugural Paralympic triathlon event makes this choice a no-brainer. In addition to the medal in Rio, Daniel took the win at the ITU World Paratriathlon in Yokohama. Competing as a junior, Daniel managed a 34th place finish at the West Des Moines CAMTRI junior race.
The 38-year- old phys- ed teacher from Winnipeg had been focused on making it to Rio since 2012, achieving that goal with style with her eighth-place finish in Rio.
See our feature on Rob Buren on p. 56.
Christine Robbins/sasha Boulton
Ottawa’s Christine Robbins (38) and guide Sasha Boulton (22), a former elite triathlete who has made her own comeback from injury to help Robbins get to Rio, finished 10th in Rio.