(Trois-Rivieres) Two triathletes in the region will face their biggest challenge in career on Saturday in Des Moines, Iowa, when they will start the Pan American Junior Championships under a sun that looks dismal.
If Pavlos Antoniades and Marika Plourde-Couture, the Trimego club will be making their first appearance at this prestigious appointment, they will approach the competition quite differently because of their ages, the opposite of the junior class.
Double U15 Canadian champion, Antoniades is in its infancy in the juniors, where he will work for the next four years.
“This is the first time I’m going to live a race of this magnitude then I go first just for the experience,” says one who will end up in the middle of a pack of about 75 athletes aged 16 to 19 and where the first-year juniors are very rare.
However, earlier this winter, Pascal Dufresne of the protected had impressed the gallery at the North American Championships presented in Florida when he was awarded the bronze in his first search. In light of this performance, all hopes seem qu’Antoniades allowed to receive an invitation to the Junior World Championships scheduled in Cozumel, Mexico, in September.
To access the World Championship, he will finish in the top 15 of the Americas in Des Moines while ranking among the top three Canadian. Then, the final choice will be left to the discretion of policymakers Triathlon Canada. Lot of seven Canadians in contention, Charles Paquette seems to hold an edge over his compatriots. Then the way is clear for Antoniades and the other five from the Maple Leaf.
“I looked at the results of guy who will participate and I would like to classify myself in the top-20. If I can break into the top-15, that would be even better because it would qualify one of three places available for Canada for the World Juniors, “says triathlete that will blow 16 candles in August. “But it would still be surprising that I manage to go to the World Championship,” relativize the specialist running.
As for Plourde-Couture, the main objective of 2016 was achieved when she received the invitation for the Pan American appointment earlier this summer. All that will come later will be the icing on the cake.
“The past years I had been bothered by injuries. I am very happy to have been able to qualify my last chance in the juniors, “says the protected Isabelle Gagnon.
At the heart of a group of 56 rival, the Trois-Rivières 19 years love to crack the top-20. As for his chances to become one of the first 15 Pan American and the top three Canadian women to access the World Juniors, it is not deluded.
“There are seven Canadian women. I would finish fifth. If I can get out of the water in the first pack, you never know what can happen afterwards, “says one which illustrates particularly in swimming and cycling.
Besides battling with the top junior triathletes of America, the two representatives of Trimégo club will face a formidable rival Meteorological while the mercury should be around 35 degrees Celsius.
“It’s really hot. We arrived here Monday question of having the time to train in those conditions and adapt well, “says Plourde-Couture.