Tyler Mislawchuk of Canada, who won his Tokyo slot and the Olympic Preview event in 2019, won his second Huatulco World Cup with a dominating 14:49 run split. After a puncture ruined his return to action at the Lisbon World Cup last month, Mislawchuk finished the sprint distance event in 53:09 with a 12 second margin over Brazilian Manoel Messias and 14 seconds over Messias’ countryman and training partner Miguel Hidalgo.
“I’m over the moon,” Mislawchuk told ITU media. “I worked my socks off. [fellow Canadian] Matt Sharpe and I wanted to control the race and rip a quick run. I’ve trained so hard over the last 18 months, we emptied our souls training in Hawaii and I’ve not been home in 14 months, living out of a suitcase. I dedicate my life to this and everything goes into this.”
U.S. leader Kevin McDowell finished 7th in an attempt to post an impressive performance that might convince U.S. selectors to award him the second and final men’s Olympic slot. Unfortunately, fellow U.S. competitor Eli Hemming, the only U.S. man close enough in Olympic Qualification points to earn the U.S. men a third Olympic slot, did not start due to injury.
In 30-degree Celsius temps, Igor Polyanskiy of Russia led the 750-meter swim in 8:25, followed by David Castro Fajardo of Spain (8:26), Miguel Hidalgo (8:27), Mislawchuk and home favorite Crisanto Grajales in equal 8:29 splits. It was Mislawchuk who sprinted to the lead through the short blue carpet into transition and take off first in a pack of 20 on the 20-kilometrer bike leg.
While yesterday’s rain puddles disappeared in today’s heat, the pack remained cautious of potential crashes and the modest pace led into a pack of 45. Hungary’s Gabor Faldum worked to the front in transition and led out on the run with Mislawchuk.
Early into the run Kevin McDowell surged into the front pack with Mislawchuk, Faldum, Castro Fajardo, and Brazilians Messias and Hidalgo. Soon thereafter, Mislawchuk took control and increased his lead to the end in pursuit of his race-best 14:49 split. McDowell, the American with the best chance that a strong finish might put him to the front of the USA selection committee ahead of Wednesday’s Tokyo team announcement, dueled with the Brazilians and Mexico’s Crisanto Grajales.
With Mislawchuk out of sight, the chase pack played 10 Little Indians as first Castro Fajardo, then McDowell, then David Nunez of Mexico faded. Finally the Brazilians were left to battle for the silver and bronze as Messias’ 14:55 split topped Hidalgo’s 14:59.
“Me and Manoel (Messias) have been training together for the past three months so I am very happy to share the podium with him and Tyler as well,” said Hidalgo. “They are very strong athletes going to Tokyo and the fact I could manage to be third leaves me very happy.”
A complex series of mathematical calculations lie ahead to see who will make the final 55 Olympic spots, many of which will be announced by their governing bodies on Wednesday.
Huatulco World Cup
June 13, 2021
S 750 M / B 20k / R 5k
1. Tyler Mislawchuk CAN S 8:29 T1 00:51 B 28:35 T2 00:23 R 14:49 TOT 53:09
2. Manoel Messias BRA S 8:41 T1 00:49 B 28:26 T2 00:26 R 14:55 TOT 53:21
3. Miguel Hidalgo BRA S 8:27 T1 00:55 B 28:34 T2 00:26 R 14:59 TOT 53:23
4. David Nunez MEX S 8:46 T1 00:20 B 28:25 T2 00:27 R 14:54 TOT 53:25
5. David Castro Fajardo ESP S 8:26 T1 00:51 B 28:39 T2 00:27 R 15:00 TOT 53:27
6. Kevin McDowell USA S 8:36 T1 00:51 B 28:28 T2 00:24 R 15:07 TOT 53:29
7. Crisanto Grajales MEX S 8:29 T1 00:50 B 28:39 T2 00:30 R 15:04 TOT 53:36
8. Gabor Faldum HUN S 8:44 T1 00:54 B 28:17 T2 00:22 R 15:18 TOT 53:38
9. Jeremy Briand CAN S 8:48 T1 00:51 B 28:25 T2 00:29 R 15:05 TOT 53:41
10. Juan Jose Andrade Figueroa (ECU) S 8:44 T1 00:48 B 28:30 T2 00:28 R 15:11 TOT 53:45