The New Zealand mixed team relay triathletes have finished 7th at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Test Event.
Competing at Odaiba Marine Park where the Olympic Triathlon will be held in 2020, the New Zealand team of Ainsley Thorpe, Tayler Reid, Sophie Corbidge and Ryan Sissons was unable to recover after being involved in a minor crash early in the race.
“At the end of the first leg we were caught in a bit of a mishap where some of the other athletes caught their bikes together and that wasn’t ideal,” said Tayler Reid.
Despite the early trouble the New Zealanders managed to work their way up the field, improving from 13th to finish 7th in a time of 1:28:19.
“Everyone dealt with the conditions really well and it was a good opportunity for us to go hard and fast on the Olympic Course,” said Sophie Corbidge.
Olympic Summer Games
In a photo finish France snuck ahead of Great Britain to take the gold in a time of 1:26:33. The USA took bronze in a field consisting of 23 teams.
The Olympic Test Events are held on the course for next year’s Olympic Games and are a key part of New Zealand Team athlete preparation for Tokyo 2020.
“There’s no more valuable experience than racing on the course that you’ll be on at the Olympic Games, it means you can go back to New Zealand and race specifically for the cornering and all the specifics of the race,” said Corbidge.
Triathlon Mixed Team Relay is a new Olympic sport and will debut at Tokyo 2020.
Corbidge says it’s a brilliant discipline to watch.
“Everyone’s going so hard and fast it’s crazy! I really enjoy this format, it’s entertaining and anything can happen so you’ve just got to do your best and trust that your team mates will do the same.”