2023 Starts on the Right Track
After 18 challenging months of struggling to find his elite form that led him to a victory at the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo, four World Cup titles and a podium at the World Triathlon Championship Series, the scrappy 28-year-old was back racing at the front of the pack with the best triathletes on the planet.
The two-time Olympian clocked a 12th-place time of 53:32 in the sprint distance format at the opener of the World Triathlon Championship Series season in Abu Dhabi.
“This is something that finally makes sense after a tough 18 months. There are not many people who still believed that I can run at the front of a WTCS, and I tell you what, it feels pretty darn good,” said Mislawchuk, who has been battling his way back since his second 15th-place Olympic finish in Tokyo.
The Oak Bluff, Man. resident was racing shoulder-to-shoulder with the gladiators of the sport through the 750-metre swim, 20-kilometre ride and five-kilometre run finale.
His only blemish was having to serve a 10-second penalty after his goggles fell out of his swim cap centimetres away from his box in transition.
“It’s not ideal to have the penalty. It likely cost me a fifth or sixth-place finish. More importantly, today was about being back racing rather than participating,” said Mislawchuk, who was sixth at the Abu Dhabi race in 2021. “Being at the front of a race, mixing it up with the guys. It is exactly what I needed for my head so I’m pretty stoked with it.
“I want to thank everyone in my corner who have stuck with me through a rocky period and hopefully this is the start of sunnier days.”
Alex Yee, of Great Britain, won the race with a time of 52:53. Portugal’s Vasco Vilaca ran to the silver medal at 52:59 Maneol Messias, of Brazil, stopped the clock at 53:06 for third place.
Photo credit – Wagner Arauja World Triathlon
Story credit Triathlon Canada