Former Q of A student Faith Knelson made the final in her two Commonwealth Games races. (Citizen file)

Local athletes close to podium at 2018 Commonwealth Games

Cowichan-connected athletes place fourth in triathlon and swimming events

Two of the Cowichan Valley’s athletes in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia have finished just shy of the medal podium.

Cowichan Bay triathlete Desirae Ridenour helped Canada to fourth in the mixed team relay on April 7, finishing just seven seconds back of third-place New Zealand. Ridenour completed the third leg of the event for Canada, joining teammates Joanna Brown, Tyler Mislawchuk and Matthew Sharpe.

Ridenour also placed 17th in the individual women’s triathlon, with a time of 1:03:46, six minutes and 56 seconds back of first-place Flora Duffy of Bermuda. Brown won the bronze medal for Canada, and Dominika Jamnicky finished 14th.

Ladysmith’s Faith Knelson, a former student at Queen of Angels School, finished fourth in the final of the women’s 100m breaststroke on April 9. Knelson placed second in her heat and second in her semifinal, then was fourth in the final, just 0.62 seconds back of bronze. Kierra Smith of Vancouver won the silver medal in the final, which was won by South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker.

Knelson also reached the final of her other race, the 50m breaststroke, on April 6. She finished second in her heat, behind Commonwealth Games record holder Alia Atkinson of Jamaica. Knelson then placed fourth in her semifinal and seventh in the final.

Rugby sevens competition at the Commonwealth starts Friday, with Duncan’s Pat Kay on the Canadian men’s team, and Shawnigan Lake School grad Hannah Darling on the Canadian women’s side.

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