Matt Sharpe of Saanich finished 24th overall in the men's under-23 World Triathlon Grand Final in London

Matt Sharpe of Saanich finished 24th overall in the men's under-23 World Triathlon Grand Final in London

Home sweet homecoming for Saanich triathlete

Saanich triathlete Matt Sharpe is staring a grueling two years if he wants to represent Canada at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Saanich triathlete Matt Sharpe is staring a grueling two years if he wants to represent Canada at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

It won’t be easy, but the 22-year-old is off to a good start.

Last week he finished 24th at the men’s under-23 World Triathlon Grand Final championship in London, England. The only Canadian ahead of Sharpe was Alexander Hinton of Kingston, Ont., in 13th with a time of 1:44:26. Sharpe just behind him with a time of 1:45:34.

Though he didn’t crack the podium at the Grand Final it’s still been a strong season for Sharpe. He spent July, August and the start of September training with fellow Canadians from the national triathlon team in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. Well others used the location to race ITU events in Europe Sharpe limited his racing while recovering injuries in the spring.

“I was building back from a hip injury in April after the World Series race in San Diego and a bike crash in June right before coming to Europe,” Sharpe said.

The recovery seems to be going well. In his only other race this summer Sharpe managed eighth among the elite, open level men’s category at the ITU European Continental cup in Karlovy Vary of the Czech Republic on July 25.

“I’ve been training with a large number of our senior and development team athletes who’ve been fortunate enough to join up with New Zealand’s Jamie Turner and his elite squad, including world No. 1 ranked-female triathlete Gwen Jorgensen (USA) and former U23 World

Champion Aaron Royle (Australia).”

Also among his Spanish-based training partners this summer were adopted Canadians Ellen Pennock and her U23 teammates, Amelie Kretz and Joanna Brown, who finished second, third and fifth, respectively, in the Grand Final last week.

They’re all examples of Canada’s Own the Podium funding at work. Shining examples in the case of Pennock’s silver, and Kretz’s bronze, mind you.

“(OTP) has helped cover my pool fees, coaching fees, travel to Europe and accommodation. They see this as an important investment and they have been amazing with their support,” Sharpe said.

All other expenses, including races, are covered by Sharpe. It’s logical, he says, but becomes quite costly. Now that the triathlon racing season is almost closed for 2013 Sharpe’s goal is to find a financial partner who can assist him in an Olympic qualification campaign. It’s tough to hold down a full time job, or even part time, while spending hours in the pool, on the road running or biking, and in the gym each week.

As tough as it is for Sharpe to be away from his beloved Victoria he foresees spending upwards of nine months away for training and racing next year as he moves towards a goal of competing in Rio, he says.

“I will be finishing my season in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Oct. 13. Then I will take a few weeks off to appreciate some of the people and activities that I’ve neglected over the past season.”

He’ll miss Spain, but welcomes the chance to cycle along Dallas Road and through Metchosin, hit up his local coffee haunts and grocery shop on Sundays. Because apparently, you can’t do that in the paradise that is Vitoria-Gasteiz.

“All the stores are closed here on Sunday and as an athlete you never want restricted access from food!”




Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sue Hodgson returns as publisher of the Peninsula News Review starting June 1. (Courtesy Sue Hodgson)
Peninsula News Review welcomes back Sue Hodgson as publisher

Dale Naftel takes helm of Oak Bay News as publisher

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police circulated photo of alleged cat thief actually woman with her own cat

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Saanich girl, 12, speaks to lack of supports, says mom

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports first vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

Most Read