Jérémy Briand was to be part of a group of seven Canadian representatives to participate in the Montreal triathlon this weekend at the Grand Quai du Port de Montréal.
But fate had it otherwise. Briand, a regular at triathlons on Canadian soil, will have to miss competitions this weekend after testing positive for coronavirus.
“Unfortunately, Jérémy Briand will not be racing this weekend, he has caught COVID-19, and the medical team at the Institut national du sport du Québec (INS) has not given him the green light”, said the spokesperson for the event by email at the end of the day Thursday.
It will therefore be a postponement for the Quebecer, who had developed a passion for triathlon at the age of six, when he discovered the sport by watching it during the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The Canadian Simon Whitefield had then won the first gold medal in what was a new Olympic discipline at the time.
However, the 28-year-old athlete has not always practiced this sport. He tried a few before confirming that triathlon was indeed his sport of choice.
“Growing up, I dabbled in a lot of sports,” Briand said. I also practiced soccer, hockey and swimming, before investing myself completely in triathlon. »
Briand then developed this passion, even participating in the Quebec Games in 2007. In the early 2010s, he began to compete at the national level in triathlon.
In 2014, Briand won silver medals at the Canadian Championship, the North American Championship, as well as the Pan American Championship.
As for the triathlon, Briand explained that even if swimming is the discipline among the three that he practiced first in his sport, he feels more comfortable in running.
“I would even say that right now swimming is more my weakness,” Briand said with a laugh. It’s a bit funny, put like that. However, I believe that at the level where I am at, we do not really have a weakness as such. »
The triathlon brings its share of challenges. One of them is to find the means, but also the places to train in each of the disciplines of the sport. While running is quite easy to do, swimming and biking are sometimes more difficult, especially in winter.
Briand explained that each athlete has their own way of training and preparing for a triathlon. While some will chain the three disciplines in the same day of training, in order to better simulate a real triathlon, others prefer to focus on one thing at a time, or practice them in blocks.
“I’m enrolled in a swim club,” Briand said. For the race, I will run at the Parc national du Mont-Saint-Bruno. For cycling, we are also lucky to have some kind of indoor virtual environments these days. »
Excluding Briand, three athletes will represent the country on the men’s side. They are Quebecer Charles Paquet, Manitoban Tyler Mislawchuk, third in Montreal in 2019, and Martin Sobey, from Prince Edward Island.
Among the women, Amélie Kretz, who could become the first Quebecer to participate in the Olympic Games three times in this discipline, will be on the starting line, as will her compatriot Émy Legault, from Île-Perrot, and the Ontarian Dominika Jaminiky.
More than 100 athletes, men and women, from around 20 countries will participate in the Montreal Triathlon this weekend, which is one of the stops of the World Triathlon Championship Series.
The first competitions started in early March, while the championship finals will take place at the end of September.
There will also be a mixed relay on Sunday as the athletes represent their country.
The site will be accessible to everyone, in order to come and encourage the best triathlon athletes in the world.