The two New Zealanders in the women’s triathlon turned in impressive fighting efforts today.

Andrea Hewitt, competing at her third Olympics, was seventh and Nicky Samuels, in her second Olympics, 13th.

The race was won by American Gwen Jorgensen in 1h 56min16s, 40 seconds ahead of silver medallist Nicola Spirig Hug of Switzerland.

The triathlon was run in steamy conditions with some testing hills and the strength-sapping nature of the course took its toll on the run.

Until then the lead group had been tightly bunched, but soon after the run began, Jorgensen and Spirig went out by themselves.

Eventually Jorgensen completed the 10km run in 34min 09s, compared to Hewitt’s 36min 05s and Samuels’ 37min 18s.

Hewitt was in the chasing bunch for a time, but found the pace of the leading runners too hot.

For Hewitt, today’s effort completes a trio of excellent Olympic finishes. The 34-year-old was eighth in Beijing in 2008 and sixth in London in 2012.

"I just didnt feel that well today. I was well placed but wasnt able to push on the run. My pace was good and then it fell away.It has been a challenging year and not the one I planned but I was here and proud about the performance."- Andrea Hewitt

Samuels faded slightly more in the run, but still finished well. Her placing today is a big improvement on her 35th in London.

"That was hard. Having not raced here before the bike was harder than I thought. I was surprised the bike did not break up more. It was not the placing I wanted but happy that I finished so strongly." - Nicky Samuels 

Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Andrea Hewitt Nicky Samuels Triathlon
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