LONDON - Paula Findlay eased her way back into competition with a 29th-place finish at the Olympic test event on Saturday.
The Edmonton native has been hampered by a nagging hip injury that forced her to pull out of a race in her hometown last month. Despite not being back to 100 per cent, she raced the London Olympic course and finished with a time of two hours two minutes 34 seconds.
"It is not the result I wanted, but I have to put things into perspective and I can't expect to be there with the fastest girls having not run in nearly five weeks," said Findlay, who dropped to third overall in the ITU elite rankings. "When I made the decision to race, I knew I didn't have the fitness, but wanted to come and experience the London course so I can be prepared for next year."
Helen Jenkins of Great Britain won in front of the hometown crowd in 2:00:34. American Gwen Jorgensen took second while Germany's Anja Dittmer was third.
Findlay won three consecutive races earlier this season and handled the 1.5-kilometre swim and 40-kilometre bike of Saturday's event well. The 10-kilometre run proved difficult.
"It was tough to watch the top girls run away from me," said Findlay. "That has never happened before but it shows you can't expect to come in here and win when you haven't trained for it. These girls work super hard, and they all brought their 'A' game today because it was one of the most important races of the season."
Montreal's Kathy Tremblay finished 45th while Victoria's Kirsten Sweetland pulled out of the race with a sore foot after getting off her bike.