Ryan Sissons ran brilliantly to grab fifth place in the Commonwealth Games men’s triathlon today.
Sissons finished in 52.49s, only 18 seconds behind the winner, Henri Schoeman of South Africa. Australian Jacob Birtwhistle and Marc Austin of Scotland were second and third.
Initial New Zealand hopes centred on Tayler Reid, who emerged from the water jostling for the lead with the great Alistair Brownlee of England.
Reid had a good bike ride – sixth fastest – but faltered in the 5km run and slipped back through the field to finish 11th in 53.48s.
Sissons, on the other hand, was only middling on the bike but ran very strongly. His 14min 50s run was the second fastest of the 36 finishers and he picked his way through the field in impressive fashion.
The third New Zealander, Tony Dodds, was 16th in 55.28s.
Of interest, the Brownlee brothers of England, who have set the pace in men’s triathlons for several years, finished back in the field – Jonathan was seventh and Alistair 10th.
Sissons, 29, was clearly delighted afterwards.
“It wasn’t the podium I wanted, but it was pretty bloody close. I beat some good guys today,” he said.
Cambridge-based Sissons said he ran as hard as he could and tried to hold on.
“I couldn’t have done much more. I tried to keep the gap to 20 or 30 seconds on the bike leg, because I knew my running would be strong. But some of those guys are great athletes.”
Reid, only 21 and at the start of what might be a fine international career, said he was “stoked” with his swim and bike ride and that he did all he could during the run.
“I thought my legs would hold on a bit longer than that,” he said. “I was willing my legs on and my lungs were burning. I just couldn’t hold those guys.”Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Ryan Sissons Tayler Reid Tony Dodds Triathlon