The 2023 Americas Triathlon Championships held on September 3rd, 2023 in Veracruz, Mexico showcased the exceptional athleticism and determination of triathletes from the Americas all vying for valuable points towards the 2024 Paris Olympics.
The Americas Triathlon Championships encompassed four categories, Elite Men, Elite Women, Under 23 Men and Women. 50 triathletes took the start line for the Olympic Distance course in the Elite Men which comprised a two-lap 1,500-metre swim in warm waters of approximately 29 degrees Celsius at Gaviotas Beach in Boca Del Rio. The swim was followed by a 40-kilometer bike of 8 laps around a course with minor hills and finished off with a flat 10km run.
American John Reed claimed the top spot on the podium with an overall time of 1 hour 43 minutes and 49 seconds. Martin Sobey and Brock Hoel both of Team Canada, battled for silver and bronze in a tight- finish just two seconds apart from each other in 01:44:39 and 01:44:41 respectively. Barbadian Matthew Wright captured fourth with a personal event-best performance in a time of 01:44:52.
Wright exited the water in 6th place with a good swim about 5 seconds back from the leader Brock Hoel who established a lead group of approximately 13 triathletes into the bike transition. Wright who produced the fourth fastest time of 53:55 on the 40km bike, used his experience to police the group to maintain a safe distance away from the chase group who got within 10 seconds at one point but eventually faded to more than a minute behind.
In the run, Reed the eventual winner from the USA took off from the inception of the run with no real challenger behind. A group of five, inclusive of second and third-place winners Sobey and Hoel, along with Wright, Jesus Gildardo Espiritu of Mexico, and Diego Moya of Chile, followed closely behind. In the last lap of the run, Wright attacked the group in an attempt to push for second place, which saw him and the Canadians fighting for the last top spots on the podium however, he was unable to maintain his fight and eventually settled for fourth place.
Wright will be competing at the Pan American Sprint Championships in Colombia on Saturday, September 9th with hopes of making the podium and racking up more points in route to his 2023 Olympic qualification bid.
For a complete list of race results and more information about the 2023 Americas Triathlon Championships, visit www.triathlon.org.
The success of Wright’s endeavours on the world circuit would not have been possible without the dedication and support of numerous individuals and organizations. BFIT expresses gratitude to Matthew Wright’s Team, the Welsh High-Performance Centre and Coach Luke Watson, the Barbados Federation of Island Triathletes, and the Barbados Olympic Association for their contributions and assistance.