TOKYO — Two Canadian athletes have made the tough decision to withdraw from their competitions citing injuries.
Canada’s Tyler Mislawchuk withdrew from the triathlon mixed team relay at the Tokyo Olympics after suffering an achilles injury earlier this week.
Team Canada issued a statement on Wednesday saying that the Manitoban will be replaced by Gatineau’s Alexis Lepage who will be making his Olympic debut.
“Since the completion of the individual race, we have been working with our medical team to mitigate the irritation in his achilles tendon, but unfortunately there is still some risk of further damage to the achilles should he start,” said Triathalon Canada’s high performance director Eugene Liang in a release on Wednesday.
Mislawchuk had finished 15th in the men’s Olympic triathlon over the weekend.
The 26-year-old was hoping to have the chance to line up with his teammates and support them, but knew pulling out would protect him long term.
“It’s devastating not to have the opportunity to line up with my teammates this weekend in the Olympic debut of the mixed team relay due to injury,” said Mislawchuk. “It will be tough watching from the sidelines and not being able to contribute.
“That said, this also presents an opportunity for my friend and training partner Alexis to compete in the Olympics. I know he is up to the task and will make Canada proud. I will be supporting my teammates in their final preparations. and will be cheering them on with the rest of Canada.”
Not long after Mislawchuk’s withdrawal, Equestrian Canada and Cannington, Ontario’s Jessica Phoenix made the tough decision to withdraw her horse, Pavarotti, from the competition.
Pavarotti is said to have sustained an injury during his final preparation gallop on Tuesday morning and the team felt it was best not to present him at the first eventing horse inspection on Thursday.
“We were so excited to see Pavarotti finally take on Olympic competition but horse health and safety remains priority number one,” said Eventing Chef d’Équipe, Fleur Tipton in a release. “We are thankful that Pavarotti’s injury is minor and eternally grateful to his care team for ensuring his comfort and ability to fully recover. Jessica and Pavarotti are a team for the ages and we fully support them both through this heartbreaking turn of events.”
Phoenix and Pavarotti will be replaced by Dunham, Quebec’s Colleen Loach and Qorry Blue d’Argouges.