Montreal – Best Canadian women’s Olympic result in triathlon history, 15And A place, it wasn’t enough for Amelie Kretz to return to the national team with the prized Canadian Sports Card attached to it. This will not prevent him from participating in the World Cup and World Cup stages, but at his expense. one more time.
Canada’s 2022 squad announced a few weeks ago that it has only two members: Joanna Brown and Tyler Mslauchuk, who are also in Tokyo, both earning their place thanks to an injury exemption card. Kretz is also hurt, except she is ineligible because she didn’t get a full pass last year, unlike her compatriot.
“I’m still 100% in the short-distance triathlon until the Paris Games. You have to believe what I did last year wasn’t enough for them (Triathlon Canada),” she laments.
Thus, the double Olympian is taking on a new role in the same bad movie from last year when she was in a race against time to secure her qualification to Tokyo.
In August 2021 Eugene Liang, director of Canadian High Performance Triathlon, explained to Sportcom that his mission was to develop athletes who would reach the podiums at the top of the competition. To achieve this, he set very strict standards. Too strict in the eyes of his successor, Patrick Kelly, who took office at the beginning of the year.
In an interview with Sportcom, Kelly explained that his hands are already tied in the file of selection criteria for the 2022 national team set by his predecessor, the High Performance Committee for Triathlon Canada and Sport Canada.
“We can make small changes, but Sport Canada’s guidelines are very strict,” he explains. The captain says he has asked Sport Canada to review the admission criteria for a card top 8 In the Olympics in a top 16which ended in separation.
“I have confidence in our new high-performing manager and I think he wants to help me, but unfortunately they are stuck with decisions that people made before,” Kretz continued. But honestly, if they really want to help me, they can by other means than sweep, but at this time it is not. »
Ironically, 15And Cretz’s place in the Tokyo Olympics is also the same as Manitoba’s Tyler Mislawchuk earned him in the men’s competition before withdrawing from the mixed relay due to an Achilles tendon injury.
“It is completely supported And not me. That’s what’s a little frustrating, but hey, I’m starting to get a little used to it,” Blainvilloise drops a frustrated laugh.
Other solutions on the horizon
Patrick Kelly says he is trying to find other ways to help Kretz beyond his Sport Canada pass.
“I am in contact with her, we have a good relationship and we talk to each other regularly. We will try to help her in another way so that she can get financial help. She is one of the best women in Canada, I realize that she achieved a great result in the Olympics and I want to support her as much as possible.”
The official adds that he is already working on developing selection criteria for the 2023 national team and that they will be less restrictive for all Canadian athletes.
“Athletes will get better if they race at the highest level, as long as they are competitive. We don’t want to put young athletes down to be outdone. We want them to learn, gain experience and get stronger. I am here to defend the athletes.”
A place for the next generation
The World Championship season begins next weekend in Yokohama, Japan. Cretz won’t be there because of a stress fracture to the neck of her femur that occurred at the beginning of the year that forced her to rest for 12 weeks. An injury from wear and tear, but also a buildup of stress from last spring according to the person who already has her ticket for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, scheduled for the end of July.
“It was really hard on my body and the stress too. It’s a sign that I need to rest and work. Reset. It’s flat, but this injury allowed my body and head to recover from all the feelings of the past year,” says Alex Sereno, who coached him.
“I take my time to make sure I’m healthy. When I’m ready to race, I’ll pick my races at that time,” said the person who was convinced they would be at the start of the Montreal World Championship events, June 24-26.
The next generation in Quebec is well present
Emy Legault (Île-Perrot) and Charles Paquet (Port-Cartier) will be present in Japan. These are part of the next generation Quebec group for the Canadian team 2022 (Next generation), which has nine members, along with Liu Roy (Quebec), Philippe Menville (Quebec), Myra Caro (La Prairie), and Noémy Beaulieu (Quebec).
The latter two also participated in a women’s prep camp organized by Kretz last fall, where she worked as a guide. A role that was important to her, because she had this opportunity when she was younger.
“Triathlon Québec and Asics sponsor were involved in the project and were also able to provide scholarships for young athletes. It really is cool Let’s see we have a great new generation in Quebec. It’s important to me because triathlon has given me so much in my career over the years. […] Triathlon is a very expensive sport and many women, girls, and young adults are lost at this age. It’s important for me to help them out a little bit, hoping they’ll stay a little longer in the sport. »
Should he not have his support from Sport Canada, Kretz would have allowed two young athletes to feel supported as they reached the world stage.