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!”

sports@vicnews.com

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Greater Victoria teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

One year in, teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressure from families

A wind warning is in effect for Greater Victoria Thursday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
Strong winds predicted for Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issues warning for Thursday afternoon

Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)
UPDATED: Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti an ‘unacceptable’ form of communication says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

Sooke Road will be down to a single lane Thursday night while crews work on a water main connection. (Pixabay stock image)
Sooke Road down to single lane for water main connection

Night work scheduled for Thursday, early Friday morning

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 23

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

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Lease ‘important first step’ in $105-million Nanaimo port expansion project

Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement for Duke Point

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

Most Read