MOOLOOLABA, Australia. — Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.) looked in top form Saturday at the ITU Triathlon World Cup in Mooloolaba, Australia, grabbing a silver medal to kick off her 2019 season. Meanwhile, the U.S. saw three top-seven finishes in the men’s race, led by Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.) in fourth place.
The scenic course on Australia’s Sunshine Coast featured a 750-meter ocean swim, 20-kilometer bike and 5-kilometer run. The home country’s Ashleigh Gentle grabbed the victory in the women’s race, followed by Tomlin with the silver. Italy’s Angelica Olmo rounded out the podium.
Australians Kelly-Ann Perkins and Emma Jeffcoat led the field out of the water, with Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.) and another Australian, Natalie Van Coevorden, right on their heels. The foursome formed a lead pack on the bike that held up for the first half of the course before being caught by the chasers. A large group came into the second transition together, leaving the medals to be decided on a hilly run course.
Gentle was the first to make a move on the run, pulling out front of a hard-charging group that included Tomlin, Olmo, Italy’s Anna Mazzetti and Switzerland’s Jolanda Annen. Gentle never gave up her lead, breaking the tape with a time of 58 minutes, 15 seconds. Tomlin outran the rest of the chasers, using a 17:02 5k to secure the silver in 58:21. Olmo crossed the line just four seconds later to take the bronze.
Tomlin’s silver marked her ninth career podium on the ITU World Cup circuit. Her performance confirmed a successful comeback from injury that saw her miss most of the 2018 season, but return in the fall to earn two ITU World Cup medals.
Gorman recorded a solid seventh-place finish, just 19 seconds off the podium with a time of 58:44. Also racing for the U.S. was Sophie Chase (Carlsbad, Calif.), who finished 15th — just the third top-15 ITU World Cup finish in her young career — in 59:20.
In the men’s race, Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk led a long train of men out of the water and onto the bike course. With no one attacking on the bike, a peloton of about 30 men stayed together for the entire 20k course. Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo), who reached the podium in his last two ITU World Cup appearances, was involved in a crash on the technical course and had to drop out of the race.
Three other Americans, however— Smoragiewicz, Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.) and Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.) — were still in the mix heading onto the 5k run in the midst of a huge pack.
Ultimately, Mislawchuk reclaimed his lead, earning his first career ITU World Cup victory in 52:14. He was joined on the podium by Australia’s Brandon Copeland, who grabbed silver in 52:19, and Germany’s Valentin Wernz, whose 52:22 was good enough for bronze.
Smoragiewicz and McElroy battled in a sprint to the finish, each earning an official time of 52:26. Smoragiewicz narrowly edged his teammate, taking fourth to McElroy’s fifth. Azerbaijan’s Rostislav Pevtsov followed in sixth with a time of 52:27, and Pearson, just a step behind, was seventh in 52:28.
The fourth-place performance marked Smoragiewicz’s second-best finish on the ITU World Cup circuit, bested only by his silver medal in Cape Town, South Africa, last month.
The ITU Triathlon World Cup season continues with another sprint-distance race in New Plymouth, New Zealand, on March 31.
Mooloolaba ITU Triathlon World Cup
750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run
Elite Women — Complete Results
1. Ashleigh Gentle (AUS), 58:15
2. Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), 58:21
3. Angelica Olmo (ITA), 58:25
2. Renée Tomlin (Ocean City, N.J.), 58:21
7. Tamara Gorman (Rapid City, S.D.), 58:44
15.Sophie Chase (Carlsbad, Calif.), 59:20
Elite Men — Complete Results
1.Tyler Mislawchuk (CAN), 52:14
2. Brandon Copeland (AUS), 52:19
3. Valentin Wernz (GER), 52:22
4. Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D.), 52:26
5. Matt McElroy (Huntington Beach, Calif.), 52:26
7. Morgan Pearson (Boulder, Colo.), 52:28
Eli Hemming (Kiowa, Colo.), DNF
Walter Schafer (Centennial, Colo.), LAP
About USA Triathlon
USA Triathlon is proud to serve as the National Governing Body for triathlon, as well as duathlon, aquathlon, aquabike, winter triathlon, off-road triathlon and paratriathlon in the United States. Founded in 1982, USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,300 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multisport organization in the world. In addition to its work with athletes, coaches, and race directors on the grassroots level, USA Triathlon provides leadership and support to elite athletes competing at international events, including International Triathlon Union (ITU) World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic and Paralympic Games. USA Triathlon is a proud member of the ITU and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).