THE 2018 COMMONWEALTH GAMES
While it wasn’t until 2002 that triathlon became an official sport at the Commonwealth Games, Canada’s rich multisport history at the games actually goes back to 1990. Triathlon was an exhibition sport that year at the games in Auckland, New Zealand. Organizers were no doubt motivated to include triathlon on the agenda because two of the world’s best were Kiwis and they came through with the gold medals. Rick Wells took the men’s title over Australia’s Brad Bevan and Greg Welch. Erin Baker won the women’s race over Canadian Carol Montgomery with another Kiwi, Erin Christie, taking the bronze. The event also hosted an elite junior race, which featured a Canadian sweep of the podium as Dave Smit, Andrew Macmartin and Erik Myllymaki took all three medals.
Fast forward 12 years to Manchester, England, where triathlon is now an official sport in the games. This time, there’s another sweep of the top of the podium, but it’s not the home country that earns the top honours – Canada’s very own Simon Whitfield and Carol Montgomery took gold that day. (Another 2000 Olympian, Sharon Donnelly, would win the second-pack sprint that day, finishing fifth.)
Since that heady race day in Manchester Canada has won just one more medal – Kristen Sweetland’s career-comeback silver-medal performance in Glasgow in 2014. So how do things look for Canada heading into this year’s event? Here’s our preview of the upcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games triathlon, which takes place on Australia’s Gold Coast on April 4 (individual events) and April 6 (Mixed Team Relay).