Canada's Joanna Brown scores 1st career triathlon World Cup medal

Canadian Joanna Brown staged a late charge to finish second at the triathlon World Cup in New Plymouth, New Zealand, on Sunday.

The 24-year-old finished with a total time of 59 minutes, 29 seconds, just one second behind Katie Zaferes of the U.S.

Belgium's Claire Michel was third with a time of 59:30.

It was the first ever World Cup podium for Brown, who said that she was pleased with the result, especially after dealing with setbacks the past few years. 

"This isn't rain, it's tears. I'm just so happy about the podium," said Brown.

"I have so many people to thank for being here. It's been a really long couple of years getting back into shape."

Near the end of the run, Brown stormed ahead from fourth place to secure her spot on the podium. 

The group broke down to just six athletes after the first two laps, leaving many of the world's best going head-to-head in a game of run tactics for the bell lap.

"As soon as we hit the last lap,Katie Zafares surged, and we kept trading leads. [My coach] kept telling me to make my move at the right time, so I watched everyone carefully as we went up the last hill and around the corner."

It was an emotional win for Brown, a top prospect for Triathlon Canada since 2010. That year, she took bronze at the junior world championships, but her development was then derailed with nearly three years of injuries.

Brown even considered retirement after representing Canada at the Pan Am Games in Toronto.

"I definitely contemplated moving on, but my support team helped to build me up, give me courage and pushed me to believe in myself.

"I wouldn't have had this performance without them," said Brown.