The two New Zealand men in the triathlon turned in strong efforts today, but in testing hot and hilly conditions couldn’t quite foot it with the leading bunch.
Ryan Sissons finished 17th and Tony Dodds 21st.
The race was dominated by the freakishly talented Brownlee brothers Britain. Alistair Brownlee retained his Olympic title in a time of 1h 45min 01s and his brother, Jonathan, was second six seconds back.
Sissons finished in 1h 49min 01s, three minutes behind the winner. Dodds was 17 seconds behind his countryman.
The New Zealanders worked together for much of the race. After emerging from the water well to the fore, they cycled and ran with each other for much of the journey. However, in the cycling, the leaders shot up some of Rio’s intimidatingly steep hills and dropped many riders, including the New Zealanders.
Sissons said he would have liked a top 10 finish, but that the pace was just too tough.
“Seventeeth is reasonably good,” he said. “I know I gave it everything out there and it’s an improvement on what I did in London [in the 2012 Olympics].
“There was a break on the bike and and I couldn’t go with it and I didn’t quite have the legs on the run.”
Dodds said trying to match the Brownlees and the other leading triathletes was like what rowers faced when confronted by Mahe Drysdale or Eric Murray and Hamish Bond.
“I really tried to stay in the front group,” Dodds said. “We’d trained for the race and the heat, but when they went going up the hill I just couldn’t keep up. It was very tough.”
He said he dug as deep as he could and was pleased with his effort.
“They set a pace no-one else can keep. They are amazing athletes.”Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games Tony Dodds Ryan Sissons Triathlon