Aiden Longcroft-Harris of Victoria exits the water after the swim portion of the ITU Multisport World Championships aquathlon event. He finished first in the junior men’s division and third overall.                                Mark Brett/Western News
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Aiden Longcroft-Harris of Victoria exits the water after the swim portion of the ITU Multisport World Championships aquathlon event. He finished first in the junior men’s division and third overall. Mark Brett/Western News

Canadian and Brit take Multisport Aquathlon World Championships

Victoria’s Matthew Sharpe, Great Britain’s Emma Pallant capture Multisport Aquathlon World Championships

Canadian’s took two of the three male elite spots in the Multisport Aquathlon World Championship Friday.

Matthew Sharpe of Victoria captured the world title of the one-kilometre swim, 5-km run in 29 minutes 55 seconds. Following right behind was John Rasmussen in 30:09, while Great Britain’s Mark Buckingham was third in 30:32, and fourth overall.

Matthew Sharpe of Victoria prepares to cross the finish line on Lakeshore Drive as the first elite-class athlete in Friday’s aquathlon event in the ITU Multisport World Championships. (Mark Brett/Western News)

“I think it was being part of the atmosphere. They’ve done a really good job in Penticton,” said Sharpe, following his win. “It was a blast racing with a lot of hometown support.”

The Victoria native felt he performed OK, feeling flat at the start of the swim, which took him 13:04 to complete.

“The run was one of those things where you are kind of going on emotion, going through the crowd,” said Sharpe, who took 16:06 to complete the 5-km run. “I kind of went when the crowd was near. It was exciting, it was awesome.”

Sharpe came onto the run with Canadian Brennen Smith, who captured the under-23 title in 30:25. France’s Carl Dupont took silver in U23, while Kyle Smith of New Zealand picked up bronze after finishing in 30:54.

Sharpe said it was cool to see a trio of Canadians come in to take podium spots and added he hopes it gives excitement for the sport.

“We have a lot of talent in Canada,” said Sharpe, who won the Tiszaujvaros ITU World Cup in Hungary on July 22.

Great Britain’s Emma Pallant, who wasn’t able to defend her Duathlon World Championship on Aug. 19, won the Aquathlon in 34:30, besting Great Britain’s Jacqueline Slack, who came in at 35:28.

Pallant trailed Slack in the swim by 1:03, but made up the deficit by completing the run in 16:59 to Slack’s 18:45.

“My swim wasn’t the greatest. I felt really strong on the run,” said Pallant, who dedicated the win to her coach Michelle Dillon. “I think just as well, we’ve been making most of the riding out here, some beautiful mountains.

First place winner in the women’s elite division Emma Pallant of Great Britain crosses the finish line in the ITU Multisport World Championships.(Mark Brett/Western News)

“It’s a nice little thing to add to the mix,” said Pallant of doing the Aquathlon. “Swimming definitely isn’t my strongest. I knew I would have a lot of work to do in the run.”

Third overall went to under-23 athlete Chloe Pollard of Great Britain in 35:34, who also claimed the title for her division. She had the best swim coming out in 13:48.

Canada’s Brian Martin won the paratriathletes title in 44:50. Great Britain’s Robert Lightowler (20 to 24) is the Age Group champion, clocking a time of 30:31, while New Zealand’s Taryn Ryan (25 to 29), is the female Age Group champ with a time of 36:49. Denmark’s Michael Kruger won the Open Wave championship with a time of 36:37 and Lena Uvalle is the female champion in 41:57. Canadian Aiden Longcroft-Harris won the junior men’s championship in 30:11. Switzerland’s Delia Sclabas won the junior women’s title in 34:35.

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